The international and yearly conference Gender Summit takes place in 19-21 August this year. Honorary guest and keynote speaker is the Former Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon.
Amongst other speakers there is one from Sweden: Fredrik Bondestam, Director of the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research.
This year the conference highlights themes as improving data and statistics, covid-19, climate technology, Agenda 2030 and research contributing to safe and secure societies. With reference to this we take the opportunity to ask Fredrik Bondestam a couple of questions:
What kind of conference is this and why is it important to participate?
– Gender Summit focuses on gender, equality and policy in higher education and research. The aim is to create dialogue between practitioners, researchers and political decision-makers on the basis of current research and knowledge. After several years of work the conference has established itself globally and has direct relevance for the shaping of the EU political priorities within higher education and the importance of the gender perspective for the financing systems for research.
What will you talk about?
– One of the themes this year is sustainability within the frame of Agenda 2030 and the responsibility of the the global sector of higher education to reach the sustainable goals. I will discuss recent research about sexual harassment and genderbased victimisation as crucial for creating sustainable conditions for research and education, but also as a linchpin to reach quality in research itself.
What can you, as Director of the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, contribute with?
– Since long time the Secretariat has a key role in international contexts, when it comes to knowledge about gender and equality in the intersection between theory and practice. Since
#Metoo in 2017 we have been working purposefully with research and knowledge compilations about sexual harassment and genderbased victimisation.
We show concretely that this is an area of knowledge which have been neglected and that it has a direct impact for women and men on the conditions for research. With our knowledge base we are in demand for both research cooperations like Genderaction and high level assignments such as the Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation, a part of part of ERAC, the European Commission’s Reasearch Area and Innovation Committee.
We have an important role to play by clearly taking a stand against genderbased violence in an international context and in offering research-based ways to prevent exposure in Academia.
This year the conference is digital, due to the pandemic. How does this affect you as a speaker and the participants?
– Of course it’s important to continue intensifying the impact for knowledge about power, gender and sustainability within the higher education sector, even though the conditions are not the best for this kind of conference. A challenge will be to replace the dynamics of a present conversation, but the speakers will be available for questions and discussions continuously during the conference. During the current pandemic, where we see that domestic violence violence is increasing globally, we need to strengthen research and education about violence itself, but we also need working proactively so that Academia and working life in general can offer safe working places ahead.
About Gender Summit
Gender Summit is an international platform for dialogue between researchers, policy-makers, equality and gender researchers as well as other stakeholders within the research systems. The platform examines new research which shows when, why and how biological and sociocultural differences can affect the outcome of different results. The aim is to contribute to increasing quality in research and innovation through knowledge about equality.