International Women's Day 8 March 2021

Team Diversity (Department University & Society) oganises two free online lectures for students and staff on the impact of COVID 19 on women.

1. The negative impact of COVID 19 on academics with care responsibilities and/or a high teaching load

​by prof. dr. Birgit Van Puymbroeck, for the Jonge Academie

It is no secret that the Covid-19 crisis has had an impact on academia, as well as on other parts of society. For the remainder of the academic year, academic staff will need to make additional efforts to ensure safe teaching and research. Unfortunately, the impact of the past and coming period is not the same for everyone: it disproportionately affects academics (m, f, x) with care responsibilities and/or a high teaching load - two things that we know are often taken up by women. As a result, the COVID-19 crisis threatens to exacerbate existing (gender) inequality in academia. This talk, presented by the Jonge Academie, presents some facts and figures that are already available and suggests a number of strategies to address this issue.

Birgit Van Puymbroeck is Assistant Professor of Literature in English and Research Methodology at VUB and Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the FWO at Ghent University. Her research interests include modernism, networks and media. She is a member of the editorial board of DiGeSt, Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies, and of the Jonge Academie (2018-2023), where she works on inclusive policy.

8  March 2021, from 12.30 - 13.30 pm


2. The increase of cyberviolence on women during the pandemic

by prof. dr. Catherine Van de Heyning

With billions of people now forced to stay home, our world has made another quantum leap into the digital era. Because we spend many hours of our days online, we are increasingly confronted with the dangers and harms of the online world, including cyberviolence. Women in particular have felt the impact with a significant increase in cyberviolence during the pandemic, including phenomena such as online harrassment, non-consensual distribution of intimate images, sextortion and misogynist hate speech. Where cybercrime affects all internet users, particular forms have disproportionately affected girls and women. During the seminar this evolution is discussed as well as the consequences and harm.

Catherine Van de Heyning, phd, is ass. professor in European fundamental rights law at the University of Antwerp. She specialises in the impact of digitalisation on fundamental rights, in particular in the area of criminal justice. She is a member of the BELSPO @ntidote project on cyberviolence and a regular public speaker on the topic. In this position, she advised the Belgian parliament on the new legislation on non-consensual distribution of intimate images. In addition, she is an expert to the advisory committee to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. She combines her academic career with a position as public prosecutor.

9 March 2021, from 12.30-13.30 pm


Strategic Action Plan 'Sustainable gender policy for academic personnel'

The Strategic Action Plan 'Sustainable gender policy for academic personnel' translates the commitment of the University of Antwerp to promote gender diversity in the academic staff through operational policies, actions and education. The plan was approved by the Board of Directors on January 21, 2014.