SDG5: Gender Equality
The drive for gender equality globally remains an ongoing battle and is an area that the University of Northampton is fully committed to supporting. Our work in this area encompasses supporting females being taught in compulsory education and in higher education (both access and attainment), as well as equity for women in the workplace. We are also committed to preventing violence against women, and other forms of exploitation and harm. We are proud of our work at the University to ensure that we promote gender equality and actively support women in their lives and careers, and we deliver this through our community outreach work, our Access and Participation Plans, as well as our human resources work and staffing policies. This support also covers our work to assist charities and NGOs seeking to support women who have been victims of domestic violence.
Community & Outreach
The University is committed to supporting charities and third sector organisations working towards gender equality. During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the University actively supported local charities working with women who are victims of domestic violence, to support them with emergency accommodation and resource requirements. The University has also supported our amazing students who are working towards solving a multitude of gender issues, including: female genital mutilation (Hidden Scars); representation on the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); providing education for women in Malawi (United Amayi). Take a look at the work our students have produced around gender.
Our UniConnect work, delivered in partnership with the Universities of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, also seeks to promote higher education to young girls from disadvantaged areas, as well as promoting careers in STEAM. This is achieved through the delivery of workshops in schools (here is a list of all our partners), as well as careers events and campus visits and tours, and is embedded within a broader work on widening access for a variety of underrepresented groups delivered by our Schools and Colleges Liaison Team. Our work in this area has also led to the production of online learning resources for teachers to use in schools to promote engagement with education, including amongst women and young girls.
Finally, our Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) has supported improvements in magistrates’ awareness of vulnerable women in the criminal justice system, a population who are more likely to have a mental health problem and to have experienced abuse as a child or an adult.
Please check out our latest research for SDG5: Gender Equality
The University is committed to widening participation work and ensuring that higher education has equitable access for all students from all backgrounds. This is embodied through our Access and Participation Plan, which provides an overview of the University’s strategy around student applications to, retention, and attainment in higher education. This support includes financial support packages, outreach work in schools and colleges, support for students when they first start at the University and throughout their studies (learning support, employability etc.) and monitoring of the destinations of our student’s post-graduation. At the University we are proud that over 64% of our students are female (2018/19 data), with nearly 40% of our STEM students and over 82% of our medical students being women. Further, of the 1,859 first generation students at the University, 1,159 (62.3%) are female. The University is therefore committed to ensuring that female representation in its student populace continues to grow and that we use our role as educators to overcome gender discrimination and promote equality.
The University is also committed to ensuring gender equality in its staffing structures, with a focus on equality of pay, progression and representation at senior management levels. As part of this work we have an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, we produce Equal Pay Audit and Gender Pay Gap Reports, Staff Equality Reports and seek to increase the number of female academics in research and publishing at the University. The University also has staff who are Springboard training to deliver women’s development training and ensure that the support is there for female staff who want to develop their careers. We believe that these policies and the support offered provide a starting point to further develop our work in this SDG area. We are proud that 61% of our staff are female, and that 53% of our senior managers are women. We are committed to continuing our work in this area.
The University of Northampton also conducts a wide-variety of research into issues related to gender equality. This includes the evaluation of our APP work and WP work (UniConnect) described earlier, but also externally orientated research centred on gender equality, domestic violence and education. These projects include: the Understanding Agency and Resistance Strategies (UNARS) that explores children’s experiences of domestic violence and their coping strategies; IPSCJ’s work on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence and access to justice for survivors in partnership with the Danish Institute Against Torture in Nakuru County, Kenya; better understanding domestic violence offending behaviours and the childhood experiences that lead to individuals becoming domestic abusers; promoting gender equality in public services; and promoting gender equality through education in Turkey; and a PhD study exploring female participation in schooling in Ghana. Together, this provides a snapshot of the way that the University supports and uses its research to drive change around the world in relation to gender equality and violence against women.
The below links will take you to our key policies and reports relevant to SDG5: Gender Equality: