Building Capacity on Gender and Human Rights Teaching in China
22 Chinese university lecturers gathered in Beijing for the Capacity Building Workshop on Gender and Human Rights 11-13 May.
Interim Director of RWI’s China office, Malin Oud presenting her opening remarks. (Photo: UiO)
The aim of the three-day workshop was to give an introduction to gender and human rights and promote the importance of mainstreaming gender perspectives in university teaching.
Anna Lindstedt, Ambassador of Sweden, held the opening speech followed by Malin Oud, Interim Director of RWI’s China office and professor Liu Xiaonan, Director of Constitutionalism Research Institute (CUPL). Higher Executive Officer Susanne Flølo represented the NCHR at the workshop.
Prominent human rights experts
The participants came from the fields of law, political science, technology, finance, economics, culture, public management, administration and philosophy.
The experts who held lectures during the workshop were both foreigners and Chinese. Professor Bai Guimei from the Research Centre for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of Peking University gave an introduction to CEDAW and shared some of her experience after working with human rights, including women and gender issues, in China for more than two decades. Professor Bai is one of Chinas foremost experts on international human rights law and was invited as an expert commentator for China’s first state report after ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Senior programme officer at UN Women in China, Mr. Ma Leijun presented on the international standards for gender equality and its implementation in China and gave an introduction to the social construction of gender and stereotyping.
Mainstreaming gender in education
The second day revolved around how lecturers could mainstream gender perspectives in their teaching and was opened by RWI researcher and disability expert Anna Bruce. She explained how teaching on human rights and gender is constantly developing and shared experiences from Sweden.
Later on Professor Liu Bohong from China Women's University talked about the implementation of CEDAW in China. Professor Li Dun from Quighua University also gave a talk about gender discrimination in the Chinese context.
Teaching in a "gender equal way"
On the final day Anna Bruce and professor Liu Xiaonan held presentations on how to teach in a gender equal way, international standards and domestic law protection of gender equality, and the development of anti-discrimination law and cases in China.
The participants were highly engaged – resulting in hours of unscheduled discussion sessions during the workshop about the importance of gender equality and how to teach on this topic in a way that will attract the interest of students. It was particularly uplifting to see that ten out of the 22 lecturers participating were male, says Susanne Flølo (NCHR).
This workshop was organised by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (RWI) and the Constitutionalism Research Institute and the Human Rights Institute of China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL). The workshop is part of a larger cooperation on gender and human rights education in China between the NCHR, the RWI and CUPL. In September 2018 the NCHR and CUPL will organise a follow-up workshop for the same participants.