What is gained when university leadership revisits and recommits to equality considering the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development

  1. Idoia Begoña Fernández Fernández 1
  2. Estíbaliz Saéz de Cámara Oleaga 1
  3. Leire Imaz Zubiaur 1
  1. 1 Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

    Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

    Lejona, España

    ROR https://ror.org/000xsnr85

  1. Merma Molina, Gladys (coord.)
  2. Urrea Solano, María Encarnación (coord.)
  3. Gavilán Martín, Diego (coord.)

ISSN: 1696-8166 1989-9998

Year of publication: 2024

Issue Title: The Sustainable Development Goals from a gender equality perspective

Issue: 43

Pages: 245-272

Type: Article

DOI: 10.14198/FEM.2024.43.10 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openDialnet editor

More publications in: Feminismo/s


In 2015, all United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an ambitious initiative that aims to confront society’s biggest challenges in a decisive and coordinated fashion. One such challenge is set out in SDG 5, achieving gender equality. Following the adoption of the 2023 Agenda, many higher education institutions have implemented strategies to make tangible progress towards this goal. To that end, universities have been drawing on their previous work in gender equality (in addition to other areas such as climate change, inclusivity, and quality education), constituting a solid foundation for embarking on this new path. However, the 2030 Agenda mandates that the challenges affecting people and the planet be viewed in an integrated manner and that social, economic, and environmental aspects interact in unprecedented ways, underscoring the fact that continuing with previous policies is not sufficient; instead, we need to aim higher and devise more integrated and interrelated ways that will ultimately be more effective. In this paper, we analyse how the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has tackled these challenges at the policy level, and we report the steps the university has taken to place gender equality in a broader framework of sustainable development as an integrated whole. The new approach reworked the university’s educational model, led by the Vice-Rector’s Office of Innovation and Social Commitment, Sustainability and Equality Office. The new model has been taken up throughout the university and guides the institution for specific policies, plans and programmes in Education for Sustainable Development. We describe the initiatives with the most significant relevance for SDG 5 and the results for the last five academic years (2017-2021). The results show that significant progress is possible if appropriate and converging instruments are deployed, and efforts are sustained over time and supported by ongoing and rigorous monitoring of the results.

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