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AUA Hosts Meeting of Consortium on Gender Mainstreaming in Higher Education

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YEREVAN, Armenia — October 6-7,  the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted a meeting of the EquaStream project consortium. EquaStream is a Swedish Institute-funded project that aims to promote the use of gender mainstreaming in higher education institutions. The partners are testing gender mainstreaming tools from the Genovate and Richer Business toolkits at their respective universities and sharing their contextualized results, with the end goal of creating strong international collaborations. 

The meeting was hosted by the AUA Open Center of Excellence (OCE) for Leadership and Governance, which is hosting the project on behalf of the University. Partners from Luleå University of Technology, University of Szczecin, and the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs attended the event. Representatives from Winnet Sweden, a prominent NGO that works in the domain of gender equality, also attended the meeting, as key partners in the project. 

The meeting began with opening remarks by AUA President, Dr. Karin Markides, who underscored the function of universities as key stakeholders in development. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, His Excellency Patrik Svensson then welcomed the attendees, highlighting the strong connections between Armenia and Sweden and the rich history of collaboration with AUA, in particular. A representative from the Swedish Institute, Markus Boman then discussed opportunities for collaboration with the Swedish Institute in Armenia and beyond. 

The main purpose of the meeting was for the partners to share their experiences from testing the gender mainstreaming tools as well as the larger efforts towards creating gender equality plans at the university level. Many partners highlighted similar practical, ideological, and social challenges and shared strategies and resources to address them. 

AUA Assistant Professor Dr. Rafik Santrosyan presented his work on multimodal communication and its perpetuation of gender stereotypes and inequality through different communicative modes independent of language. The meeting concluded with a discussion of steps for expanding the work of the consortium to future projects and working outside of the community. Representatives from Winnet Armenia discussed the need for fostering healthy gender perspectives in youth development. 

The OCE  for Leadership and Governance is open for collaboration and discussion related to gender mainstreaming both within AUA and beyond. Contact [email protected]

More information about the EquaStream project can be found on the project website.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.