Today, on International Women’s Day, the University of Twente launches several initiatives to break biases, empower women and those who identify as women and improve women’s health and wellbeing. 8 March will mark the start of a week of reflection and various events, focusing on this year’s theme #BreakTheBias. “We take this opportunity to keep raising awareness about the biases women in academia face and at the same time we continue to combat these biases at UT”, says DE&I Officer Sterre Mkatini (she/her).
The day kicks off with a round table discussion hosted by UT’s Female Faculty Network. The central question during this thought-provoking event will be ‘Which biases do women in academia encounter and what challenge do they face because of them?’ The Female Faculty Network Twente is the professional network of female academics at the University of Twente. If you want to join the discussion, please register for this hybrid event.
A multidisciplinary group of researchers work together in a special research programme called Women’s Health focused on solving health and wellbeing-related problems in various life phases of women. The new collaboration wants to bring new technologies specific to women’s health. “Current healthcare research traditionally has a male first approach, which not always gives the most optimal solution fit for female patients. Differences between men and women occur in health and disease manifestation, and also in response to treatment. Within our multidisciplinary research group at the UT, we focus on bringing new technologies specific to women’s health to those in need, thereby supporting the personalization of diagnosis and treatment. We work to improve women’s health and wellbeing throughout their lifespan thereby benefiting both women, their children and loved ones, and thus impact society as a whole”, says Prof. Dr. Sabine Siesling, chair of Women’s Health. Today, Women’s Health launched its website on all women's health-related research at the University of Twente.
Another major part of International Women’s Day at UT is the two exhibitions in the University Library. The first exhibition – Women of Mathematics throughout Europe – presents the photographic portraits of female mathematicians from all around Europe. In the exhibition, they share their experiences as mathematicians and role models. The second exhibition is about the daily lives of female students and staff and is hosted by the Amnesty International Enschede Student group. Both exhibitions run from 8 – 25 March. Sterre: “We are delighted to see that all these initiatives are community-driven, it shows that advancing gender equality continues to be such a pressing topic.”
During the week, there are other activities and events to enjoy and help you inform yourself about biases in academia. The full programme can be found on the website about International Women’s Day at UT 2022. On this website, you can find more information and sign up for events. For more information about International Women’s Day, please visit the International Women's Day 2022 website.