Compulsory awareness-raising session for B.A. students (FR)

The University Paris 7 Diderot (France) delivers a 3.5 hours compulsory awareness-raising session on gender equality for first grade students as they enter the university (2,700 students / year). It applies to all components and faculties but medicine (Law, Economics and Management, Social Sciences and Humanities, Literature and Arts, Sciences, Technology, Mathematics). The session is an integral part of the welcome programme of the university, which takes place in September and includes other events such as a forum of associations and a speech of the Dean. The session on gender equality is the only event having an academic content and for which attendance is compulsory. Between 70 % and 80 % of registered students have attended this session since it was put in place (approximately 2,000 students). The session is divided into three parts: 1) distribution of a questionnaire on gender inequalities; 2) a general introduction to gender and sexual identities; 3) broadcast of a conference by neurologist Catherine Vidal: “Does our brain have a sex?”. It is organised by the Gender Equality Service, established in 2010 as a central service of the university. While it does not primarily address gender in research and does not target researchers, this practice largely contributes to making gender equality culture an integral part of the institution’s identity, bringing insights from research on gender and initiating the fight against gender bias and stereotypes at an early stage of the curricula of future researchers.