SDG5 Gender Equality
Photo Credit: HKU Women in Science and Engineering
During the reporting period, HKU's student admissions, enrollment, and graduate gender ratio stayed quite balanced at approximately 0.7:1 male to female. On the staff side, the gender ratio for staff was at 0.8: 1, but the ratio in senior ranks remains imbalanced. Various measures were introduced to increase women representation in senior positions and we are beginning to see results.
To promote equal opportunities and understanding of gender issues, the Faculty of Arts’ Committee on Gender Equality and Diversity works to review gender and diversity policies in the faculty and to fix imbalances. The committee has equalized the gender and diversity ratio in other committees within the faculty and secured funding for a new Assistant Professor position in gender and sexuality studies.
The Gender Studies programme was established in the 2018-19 school year to bolster students’ awareness of gender equality. The programme offers both major and minor undergraduate degrees in gender studies as well as MPhil and PhD degrees. It is interdisciplinary in scope and covers topics such as gender relations and identities, women, and sexualities and their interaction with social differences, such as race, ethnicity, and social class. The programme prepares graduates to promote gender, equity and inclusion in the wider society regardless of their future career.
Teaching & Research
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Proportion of first degree graduates who were female by subject
All subject areas
Arts & Humanities/
Proportion of women in senior academic positions (2018/19)
Senior academic includes Professors, deans and Senior Management members (President, Provost, Vice Presidents)
The Women’s Studies Research Centre (WSRC) encourages knowledge exchange on gender, sexuality and diversity by bringing together researchers, policymakers, and community leaders. WSRC has established new initiatives and courses in the University around these subjects and hosts regular events to foster dialogue. In 2017, WSRC hosted a two-day conference titled International Forum: Gender Mainstreaming • Unpaid Care that included a number of expert panels on topics such as gender-responsive budgeting, supporting carers, and the role of the government and NGO’s. WRSC also established the HKU Women in Science and Engineering (HKU WISE) initiative that promotes and supports women in STEM fields at HKU. HKU WISE showcases the work of women in these fields on social media and hosts events and talks in order to drive further gender balance in STEM fields at HKU and beyond.
The Equal Opportunity Unit (EOU) continues to work on creating an equal and inclusive campus environment which is free of discrimination and harassment. Regular training for students and staff are held to enhance sensitivity on equal opportunities, as well as to raise awareness on issues such as discrimination and sexual harassment. To fight against sexual harassment on campus, EOU publishes a guideline that includes the definition of sexual harassment, ways to file a complaint etc, and direct people in need to CEDARS counselling and support services for further follow-up. In August 2017 the University implemented ten gender-parity and family-friendly measures to foster a fair, diverse, and supportive work culture regardless of gender and family status.