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Gender for Excellence in Research

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GenderEX (Gender for Excellence in Research)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2022-03-31

Despite the fact that women represent 50% of the world’s population, all too often women in particular and gender in general are absent from much academic research. Research that does not include a sex/gender perspective is lacking in that the research is guided by the assumption that genders do not interact with the world in a different manner. All too often research that ignores gender is androcentric and assumes the male body and/or experience can serve as a proxy for all genders when we know that gender often impacts the way we experience life.

The inclusion of a sex/gender perspective is important for society in that without it we often ignore the experiences of many people. In fact, the information and/or products produced may even be harmful. The assumption that medicines tested on “male” bodies will impact “female” bodies in the same way has been proven false on numerous occasions with sometimes disastrous results. At the very least we much ask and answer the question of whether genders are differently impacted by a given procedure, law, product or cultural process. There may be no difference in experience but without asking the question we cannot actually know the answer.

The overall aim of GenderEX is to further the adoption of a sex/gender perspective in research content across multiple scientific disciplines in Turkey by enhancing the capacity of the Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University for training and engaging more researchers into this field, with a primary focus on Early Stage Researchers (ESRs).

GenderEX specific objectives are: 1. To raise awareness and communicating the benefits of integrating the sex and gender dimension into research content in all academic fields. 2. To increase the capacity and pool of researchers that integrate sex/gender perspective in research content, with special focus on Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). 3. To create networking opportunities that generate future partnerships for academic production that includes sex/gender perspective in research content. 4. To strengthen the research management, administration skills and research reputation at Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University.
To date GenderEx has offered two one day online trainings in how to integrate a sex/gender perspective. The first training focused on social sciences, humanities and law and the focus of the second was STEM. The trainings had 16 and 13 participants respectively.

These trainings were followed by a five-day online Gender School. Gender School provided intensive, interactive training where participants developed a project/paper proposal which included a sex/gender perspective. Thirty-six individuals from all partner countries participated in the Gender School

In order to build the capacity of the Gender Center at Kadir Has University, we organized three advice clinics. Advice clinics comprise a experienced partner sharing their knowledge and expertise on a given subject. These are intended to be a more informal atmosphere of sharing as well as question and answer sessions. Topics have included: raising our profile; roadmaps to engender projects/proposals in STEM fields; project proposal writing and building successful consortia. Advice clinics have been attended by all partners as well as Kadir Has University Research and Development office staff.

The project has produced two motivational videos encouraging the adoption and integration of a se/gender perspective in all areas of research. The second video was produced by students of the advertising department at Kadir Has University. The process of production included dissemination about the GenderEX project and the importance of including a sex/gender perspective. Approximately thirty students participated in the briefing process for this video.

We have also worked with industrial design students about how they can integrate a sex/gender perspective in the creation of material objectives which consider gender. Thirty-five students participated in the original briefing and thirteen students in three teams produced models of five different objects which evoke the importance of the integration of a sex/gender perspective.
The major result expected from this project is the training of a group of ESRs in how to integrate a sex/gender perspective in research content in a variety of fields. This knowledge can be put to use in further research, projects and publications that these individuals produce. The integration of a sex/gender perspective is a means to innovate and produce new knowledge which benefits us all. As a project, GenderEX focuses on Turkiye and the creation of a cohort of researchers that can conduct high level gender analysis also bolsters gender equality in Turkiye. Turkiye is in urgent need of advancing gender equality and researchers can play a vital role in identifying the structures and producing solutions that will enhance Turkey’s advancement toward gender equality. The integration of SGDRC in all research areas represents an important component in producing better knowledge that can support progress toward equality.

The experience and capacity building that the Gender and Women’s Studies Research Center at Kadir Has University gains from its participation in GenderEX will create a multiplier effect beyond the life of the project. The Gender Center through its experience on the project will be able to train further ESRs in the integration of a sex/gender perspective in research content. Moreover, the experience and networking generated by the project enhances the reputation of the Gender Center and creates more opportunities for joining future successfully funded projects.
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