Institute for Gender and Development Studies

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has developed a Gender Policy to formalise its commitment to gender justice and establish a framework for its implementation. The UWI Gender Policy was launched on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at a formal ceremony at the University’s Regional Headquarters in Jamaica and followed by a public forum. The UWI Gender Policy is intended to guide The UWI's actions to mainstream gender across the institution by ensuring gender equity in all University practices, policies, procedures and programmes.

Download the UWI Gender Policy
View the Launch


Research and Consultation Process

What is the UWI Gender Policy? 




In 2015, on the St. Augustine Campus, the IGDS St Augustine Unit partnered with the Human Resources Department to roll out the Campus consultations and research gathering, for framing The UWI gender policy. Similar consultations were held on other main Campuses of The UWI. 

The policy consultation process aimed to engage men and women. The IGDS is fully aware that women are not the only victims of gender injustice.

We pursued, as in all policy building exercises:

  • a fact finding mission to examine where The University population, academic and ATS staff as well as the student population, feel that there are instances of social injustice or gaps in our system that need to be addressed;
  • a gender code of conduct and;
  • instruments that present clear directions for complaint or redress and thus generate more confidence in the work space.

This may demonstrate a model for social justice and behavior in the wider society.

This was done through online surveys as well as three face to face town hall consultations – one for academic staff, one for ATS staff and one for students.

  1. The UWI gender policy is a regional initiative that is located in The UWI Strategic Plan 2012-2017 – Be Heard. Be Informed. Be Empowered. The mandate — to develop a gender policy for The UWI to create a supportive environment for both men and women in all aspects of university life — was given to the Human Resources Department as part of their responsibility for Employee Engagement and Development.

  2. Gender equality means that women and men shall have the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all areas of life. This entails an equal distribution of power and influence, the same opportunities for financial independence and equal terms and conditions as regards work, career and development opportunities. Equality also entails shared responsibility for home and children, as well as freedom from gender-related and sexual harassment.

  3. Areas identified in the pursuit of equality and equity include:
    – creating a safe and secure environment;
    – staff and student welfare;
    – staffing, recruitment, training and advancement;
    – gender and leadership.

  4. Questions of gender and social justice may be addressed in different ways. Some examples of forms used by other universities include: Full blown gender policies (eg. Univ. of Ibadan and Makerere); Gender Codes of Conduct (Univ. of Zurich) and; in some cases the policy falls under a government act (Univ. of Oxford, UK Equality Act). In your view does UWI need an avenue for questions of gender and social justice?



Related UWI Sexual Harassment Policy 

The University of the West Indies  has a Sexual Harassment Policy for the entire regional university community, in which sexual harassment is defined as:

“a form of misconduct which includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other similar verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature or based on sex, including same sex, whether it is recurrent behaviour or a single incident and is made by any person, who knows or ought reasonably to have known that such behaviour is unwanted by the person to whom the conduct is directed.”




9 June 2018 The UWI launches policy to promote Gender Justice in the Caribbean UWI TV 

26 May 2018 UWI Launches Gender Policy, The Barbados Advocate 

23 May 2018 Gender Justice -UWI must address sexual harassment, says professor The Gleaner 

23 May 2018 The UWI launches policy to promote Gender Justice in the Caribbean

23 May 2018 UWI Launches Gender Policy Jamaica Information Service



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