Strengthening Higher Education Capacities in Palestine for Gender Equality | SHE_GE

Islamic University of Gaza (opens larger image) © Mohammed Qahwaji

Project Coordinator: Sanaa Aboudagga

Coordinating institution: Islamic University of Gaza

Partner institution: University of Graz (Libora Oates-Indruchova)

Partner country: Palestinian Territories

Project duration: 12th of June 2017 - 30th of November 2020


The project Strengthening Higher Education Capacities in Palestine for Gender Equality | SHE-GE is an academic partnership project implemented by the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) and the Department of Sociology at the University of Graz (Uni Graz).

The main aim of the project is enhancing women’s empowerment and gender equality and equity in Gaza. Designed for a period of three years, this cooperation project and its ideals and activities are demand-driven, responsive to the partnership expectations, and empirically grounded on the social and political realities of Gaza. The project is rooted in a thorough assessment by the IUG partner of the needs, potentials and circumstances of the IUG, wishing to establish a Centre for Women’s & Gender Studies with an interdisciplinary orientation, institutionalised by staff development, curriculum development and research development, and supplemented by an outreach component to women’s groups and the community as a whole.

With this quadruple approach to capacity building the project will result in:

  1. Staff development: One-year postgraduate module in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (16 ECTS) taught in English every year of the project and certified by Uni Graz for IUG staff. The module will be taught online with the possibility of personal consultations during short-term study visits.
  2. Curriculum development: a) Developing MA level courses in Women’s and Gender Studies at IUG and submitting them for accreditation.  b) English and Arabic-language reference library development, compiling and translating into Arabic an anthology of texts as a base for the courses at IUG. c) Reforming the curriculum of the IUG course ‘Human Rights’: A Human Rights course is one of the courses that is taught at IUG for all students from all disciplines. This activity aims at redesigning this course to include parts about women’s rights and gender equality.
  3. Research development: “Mirror MA theses”: This activity is an add-on to the capacity building in terms of developing research collaboration and competence in gender issues. Project staff from IUG and Uni Graz will each formulate two MA student research projects leading toward an MA thesis. Each of the four topics will be researched by a student simultaneously at IUG and Uni Graz and supervised by the faculty at the respective universities, the projects thus “mirroring” each other.
  4. Establishment of a Women’s and Gender Studies Centre. The Centre will be equipped along with its attached lab with PCs and other required equipment so that the Centre will be able to act as a research and studies hub in the field. The Centre will be established by the beginning of the 2nd year to start functioning and lead the educational and research activities in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies.
  5. Community Outreach: Capacity building of the local community in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies: a) As part of the Centre’s activities, the Centre staff and the IUG staff who got educated in the field of Gender Studies at Uni Graz will develop two training modules targeting the higher education actors and women’s organizations in Gaza.
  6. Public lectures at IUG and Uni Graz targeting women’s groups, Higher Education Institutions, government administration and the general public.