Knowledge Sharing Session on Gender Equity in Research and Higher Education

In February 3, 2017, Kalijaga Institute for Justice (KIJ) State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta (UIN Jogja) in collaboration with Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI), Australian National University (ANU), and the Ministry of Research and Technology Indonesian Higher Education is organizing Knowledge Sharing Session on Gender Equity in Research and Higher Education. This seminar aims to share Australia and Indonesia experiences in addressing gender equity issues in higher education to stimulate potential collaboration between two countries, as well as to share knowledge on gender equity in research and higher education in globaltrends and Indonesia perspective, in research institutions and universities as well as in practicesand lived experiences.

The agenda which was held at the Convention Hall UIN Sunan Kalijaga, invite resource persons, lecturers, researchers and policy makers from various universities and institutions, among which the Australian National University (ANU), Ministry of Research and Technology Indonesian Higher Education, KIJ UIN Jogja, Sajogyo Institute, Center for Women Studies UGM, Atma Jaya University, and Dipengoro University. The event was opened by the Rector of UIN Sunan Kalijaga Prof. Drs. KH. Yudian Wahyudi, MA. PhD. and witnessed by Vice Rector III University of Gadjah Mada, Prof. Suratman

Hanz Antlov, the Director for Technical Implementation of KSI, states that the theme of the meeting was proposed to evaluate the current unequal condition in regard to positions and roles between men and women in research and higher education as well as to reaffirm the importance of gender equality in higher education.

Present as the guest speaker from the ANU, Prof. Veronica Taylor, and Prof. Renee Mc Kibbin, expressed their views that gender equality is essential for research and higher education due to moral considerations, greater benefits would be obtained and its potentiality to increase academic quality. Veronica emphasized that academically, female researchers or lecturers often showed better performances than their male counterpart, yet their interest to become professor or director of research institutions tend to be lower than male. In addition, Renee McKibbin presented a map of gender imbalance in Australian higher education.

Another resource person, Dr. Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, UIN Jogja, argued that the higher levels of the hierarchy in higher education, the proportion of women lessened despite the same capacity they have this is due to 'gender glass ceiling' is still strongly held in higher education management. She put further that in fact, women ability even better in academic and management compared to men. On the other hand, Sarastiti Ciptaningrum from Sajogyo Institute mentions the existence of gender biases in academic practices at the institutions under the Ministry of Research and Technology of Indonesian Higher Educations which resulted in the decreased number of research under the theme of gender.

Knowledge Sharing Session also presented strategies and experiences to encourage women in research and higher education and to create a space for gender equality from different contexts, Indonesia and Australia. Two female professors of ANU shared strategies and experiences on gender equality at ANU. While Alimatul Qibtiyah from KIJ UIN Sunan Kalijaga explained various strategies and experiences of similar issues at UIN Sunan Kalijaga. Meanwhile, Ignatius Prapto Raharjo and Prof. Adi Utarini examined and compared these strategies with the experience and their programs at their universities, University of Atma Jaya and the University of Gadjah Mada.

This activity was officially closed by the vice rector III of UIN Sunan Kalijaga, Dr. Waryono, M.Ag, who appreciated the program. He argues that the construction of women traditional roles as mother and wife is still strong in Indonesian culture, consequently, it influences women’s role and contribution in higher education. He said, “higher education management and structural changes contribute to the practices of gender equality in higher education institutions, in addition, strong industrialization tendency prevents the attention toward gender issue in higher education.”