Creation of a Gender and Equality Council

On the proposal of Florence Caeymaex, Advisor to Rector Anne-Sophie Nyssen, the Board of Directors on October 12, 2022 created a Gender and Equality Council responsible for proposing an institutional strategy and launching and implementing projects in this area. It also appointed a Gender Contact Person.

Inequalities and discrimination based on gender are unfortunately no longer in evidence in our society. Numerous scientific studies have proven this time and again. The University is not exempt from this, it knows it. It is also aware that what is at stake is not only a question of justice, because it affects the production of scientific knowledge, in terms of content and epistemological positions. Some measures have been put in place in recent years to move towards greater respect and justice. The University now wishes, as a lucid and responsible institution, to show a real will to improve the situation.

Three initial steps forward mark this desire for change.

Appointment of an Advisor to the Rector on Ethics and Equality Policies

Florence Caeymaex is a professor of political philosophy. Her primary research interests are in contemporary ethics and the contributions of feminist and gender theory to this field. As advisor to the Rector, she works on the institutional strategy against discrimination and for the promotion of equality. The first action of her mandate was to have the Gender and Equality Council created by the Board of Directors, which was requested by the former Gender Working Group.

Appointment of the new Gender Contact Person / Gender Officer

Éléna Chane-Alune has accepted to take over the mission of PCG. She has a degree in management science and works in the RADIUS (Data Collection and Analysis of Strategic Information) unit of the University.

The PCG is more specifically in charge of promoting the institutional policy on gender through 3 missions: networking, awareness and information. As such, she participates in the meetings of the PCG Network and is in charge of writing the institutional report for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB).

Contact: 04 366 96 98

Gender WG becomes Gender and Equality Council

Since 2017, an informal working group was created from a subgroup of the HRS4R (Human Resources Strategy for Research) committee. Open to all goodwill, this WG has met several times a year, to reflect on certain issues and make proposals to university authorities.

In 2021, 31 people from different backgrounds and statuses have exchanged, based on scientific studies, numerical indicators or simple observations, to build together a Proposal for an institutional policy on gender for our University. The result of this work was presented to the University Community in March 22.

The Authorities have shown themselves to be sensitive to these proposals. In order to determine the procedures to be put in place, the actions to be carried out and to ensure the follow-up of the different institutional projects in these matters, it was necessary for the University to set up an official and permanent structure, the Gender and Equality Council, which has now been achieved.


The Council's mission is to propose an institutional strategy and an action plan to the Board of Directors. It is responsible for initiating, improving, accompanying and implementing projects in the field of gender and equality policies.

It is open to any motivated member of the Institution who has useful expertise and/or a scientific or personal interest in the theme. The participative logic, the institutional transversality and the bottom-up dynamics of the former WG are preserved, as well as its organizational autonomy.


The Council has a Bureau, chaired by the Ethics and Equality Policy Advisor Florence Caeymaex, where the Rector Anne-Sophie Nyssen, the Gender Contact Person Éléna Chane-Alune, the Advisor in charge of Sustainable Development, Sybille Mertens (The5th objective of Sustainable Development concerns gender equality) as well as 5 members of the Council (including 2 students) also sit.

The Bureau operationalizes the Council's proposals, coordinates actions, and ensures follow-up and institutional communication.

First projects of the Gender and Equality Council

The next few months will be devoted mainly to the rewriting of the "Proposals" published last March, in order to turn them into a real "Action Plan" that will have to be articulated to the institutional strategic plan of the Authorities, currently being drafted. Particular attention will be paid to the integration of the issues of LGBTQIA+ students and persons.

The issue of harassment is one of the Council's priorities. It will be a matter of establishing criteria for identifying violence, proposing/imposing training, reflecting on appropriate responses from the institution, accompanying victims, but it will also be a matter of communicating much better on existing aid and recourse..

The broad issue of parenthood is also a priority, as is the reinforcement of training on gender bias, particularly in recruitment.

Many of the proposed actions are related to communication, information and training. Existing information is often not very visible, incomplete and scattered.

Towards greater equality

With the action plan that will probably be presented in the spring, the University will clearly indicate how it positions itself with regard to gender issues, affirming that injustices and violence based on gender, whatever they may be, are neither acceptable nor accepted.



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