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“Promoting Gender Equality and Diversity through Shared Knowledge Production” (PRO GED) is an international Consortium for Education and Research (COFER) funded by swissuniversities devoted to fostering research-based exchange in the field of gender and diversity. It is a joint cooperation between three Swiss Institutions of Higher Education (the University of Zurich, the University of Geneva and the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz), and several partners in the Middle East and North Africa (the ISIS Center for Women and Development and the International Institute for Languages and Cultures, INLAC, in Fez/Morocco; the Women and Memory Forum in Cairo/Egypt; the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World, IWSAW, and the Department of Social Sciences, DSS, at the Lebanese American University in Beirut/Lebanon). PRO GED is coordinated by the Chair of Gender Studies and Islamic Studies, which is part of the Institute for Asian and Oriental Studies at the University of Zurich.
The main objective of PRO GED is to develop a collaborative and interdisciplinary platform for gender and diversity expertise and excellence in research and education between Switzerland and North Africa / the Middle East. The tasks of developing high quality education and research, reducing inequalities and strengthening institution-building processes between the Global North and the Global South require high-quality cooperation in knowledge production and exchange, involving joint efforts at disseminating competencies with respect to gender and diversity through mutual dialogue and learning processes supported by strong international networks.
PRO GED aims at critically assessing the different ways in which terminologies of gender and diversity as well as related forms of expertise are produced, translated, transferred, and put into practice globally. It seeks to create new, democratic and self-reflexive perspectives on how to deal with the complexities of relations of difference and inequality in a globalised world through cross-regional, transcultural and interdisciplinary dialogue, cutting across established boundaries in education and research.
The three main focal points of PRO GED are:
a) Research, knowledge production and knowledge circulation
b) Bridging the gap between academia and society
c) Network and institution building
In order to implement these objectives, PRO GED organizes key academic events centred on three main thematic fields, elaborates educational programmes, prepares joint publications for both academic and non-academic publics, and facilitates transfer of knowledge and expertise in gender and diversity.
Funding for this project was granted under the call for Consortia for Education and Research (COFER) that are oriented towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the U.N. Agenda 2030. The project’s focus lies on the SDGs of gender equality (SDG5), and reduced inequalities (SDG10), followed by quality education (SDG4), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16), and partnerships for the goals (SDG17). PRO GED aims to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of the SDGs with a specific focus on the critical importance of gender equality to all the included SGDs.