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Linking SPEAR Friends to Build Gender-Friendly Environment at Plovdiv University
Linking SPEAR Friends to Build Gender-Friendly Environment at Plovdiv University
SPEAR team of the Plovdiv University

Following SPEAR's main objective to overcome inequalities within the organization, the SPEAR team at the Plovdiv University has started with the initial shortlisting of actions to devise and implement the strategy to overcome the administrative, financial, and cultural challenges that exist in the current environment. No doubt, in the process of achieving gender equality, one of the most really important prerequisites is to surround ourselves with a strong community that supports us regardless of our gender or sex. These are the people who respect our sex and gender, support our personal journey, and offer empathy and advice. They will be the people who we can trust and turn to for support when we are struggling. Therefore, since the beginning of our project, we have started our work on establishing connections, personal relationships and building a sense of community in our university by following the steps below.

The Power of Reflection and Community in SPEAR
The Power of Reflection and Community in SPEAR
Peter Bjelskou, University of Southern Denmark

SPEAR’s reflective practices involve more than “just thinking”. Structured reflection is an integral part of the processual dynamics of SPEAR’s Communities of Learning and Communities of Practice. Here partners mutually benefit by engaging in a circular exchange of learning, practice, and feedback (read more about this). This mechanism ensures more synergetic effects by building upon what might otherwise be considered a traditional learning programme and a best practice network, to create a complete self-generating entirety. This empowers members to become effective GE-practitioners in their own contexts, and experience how diversified groups can be more than the sum of their parts.  

Experience of the Vilnius University in promoting diversity and equal opportunities
Experience of the Vilnius University in promoting diversity and equal opportunities
Rūta Ruolytė-Verschoore, Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator at Vilnius University

In 2017, the strategy Open University for People with Disabilities has been approved in the Senate of Vilnius University. The main goal of it was to provide a systematic approach towards the creation of equal opportunities for studying and working for people with disabilities. Since then, great achievements have been made in this field.

Gender equality benefits for the University
Gender equality benefits for the University
Vilius Alesius, Internal Communications Manager at Vilnius University

I work as Internal Communications Manager at Vilnius University in Lithuania, and I am proud to be a part of the SPEAR team since I am certain this will help our community to become more tolerant, diverse and of course aware of gender issues at all levels. Hardly anyone could possibly argue that unevenly divided societies are less sustainable. They are usually distinguished by higher rates of anti-social behaviour and violence. Countries and organisations that maintain greater gender equality are more solid and their people, i.e. citizens or employees, are healthier and enjoy better well-being. Therefore, I hope to contribute to this project as a communicator and I am looking forward to persuading more men to become proactive contributors to gender equality.