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The politics of veils, ‘polleras’ and mini-skirts, How universities can close the gender gap

26 Aug

The politics of veils, ‘polleras’ and mini-skirts Aljazeera.com Quito, Ecuador - What a difference a piece of cloth makes. Indigenous’ polleras, or Muslim headscarves tend be read as signs of poverty and subjugation whereas a mini-skirt usually asserts a woman’s emancipation. Of course, women’s rights do not reside in dress. Yet the way one dresses has political significance. A mini-skirt or a headscarf can both be symbols of oppression or emancipation, depending on the context. At first sight, indigenous women wearing polleras in the Bolivian Congress do not seem to have much in common with young Muslim women defending their right to wear the scarf to attend French universities. Looking closer, however, their insistence in bringing cultural attire into public realms points at similar practices of resistance. In both cases, clothing becomes a strategic site of political contestation to negotiate rights and authority.

How universities can close the gender gap University World News …Clinton does express confidence in researchers and their work to generate new knowledge. But she also gives us at least two challenges. The first challenge implicit in her message is for us to see inequality where it exists in our own organisations, to fix it, and to illustrate that enhanced gender equality makes universities better for everyone. The second challenge is to contribute to closing the gender data gap. How can those of us in university leadership positions facilitate that? At an overarching level, we must remember that our own work to enhance gender equality in our institutions is not only a human resources project focused on improving the quality of the workplace, giving equal opportunities to women and replacing discriminatory structures with fairer ones.

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