Lost in translation: Integrating the gender dimension in research and teaching in Universities through Gender Equality Plans


  • Ilenia Picardi University of Naplese Federico II, Italy
  • Tindara Addabbo University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Ester Cois University of Cagliari, Italy




Gender Equality Plans have been widely adopted in the last two years by Italian Universities with an acceleration that was undoubtedly affected by the European Commission requirement for access to Horizon Europe research funding programme, while benefiting from the Horizon Europe guidelines and the guidelines of the Italian University Rectors’ Conference. This paper investigates the process of institutionalisation of gender promoted within Italian academia through the elaboration and drafting of GEP, analysing the translation processes of European policies on gender equality acted by academic institutions. Amongst the five priority areas included in the Horizon Europe Guidelines, the focus of this paper is the integration of the gender dimension in research and teaching. This choice is motivated by the core role of research and teaching in universities and by the authors’ assumption that promoting actions related to this area is particularly challenging from a transformative perspective. A methodology to analyse actions in this area is proposed and applied to a sample of Italian uni-versities selected to obtain heterogeneity in terms of geographical distribution and size. The analysis of more than 170 GEPs’ actions brings evidence of criticalities in their design in areas crucial to start a transformative process and, at the same time, identifies best practices and suggestions for the adoption of policies at the national or European level to support real change.

Keywords: Gender Equality Plans, higher education, gender dimension in teaching, gender dimension in research.



2023-12-30 — Updated on 2023-12-30