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Gender equality and equal opportunities

This page provides information about the University's work with gender equality and equal opportunities.

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Background and context

The university's activities must safeguard democracy, legality, objectivity, free opinion formation, respect for everyone's equal value, efficiency, service, as well as democratic principles, human freedoms, and rights. Gender equality and equal opportunities are fundamental principles for all parts of the University.

The Strategic Plan for Lund University 2017-2026 states, among other things, that the values are anchored in the legislature a Swedish government agency must follow.

The Discrimination Act (2008: 567) prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age. In accordance with chapter 3 Active measures, the Discrimination Act, the university must systematically and continuously work to prevent discrimination.

Read more on the website of the Equality Ombudsman


The main responsibility for the preventive work against discrimination lies with the Vice-Chancellor of the University, but the responsibility is shared by all managers in the organization. Every manager, employee and student is responsible for contributing to the university's striving for a democratic and equal university without discrimination.

Most faculties or equivalent has its own group that handles gender equality and equal opportunities strategically within its specific activities.

The Council for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities

At the university-wide level, there is the Council for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities. The chairperson of the council holds a management assignment at university-wide level and is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor. The members must have management assignments at faculty level / equivalent. The council also includes three representatives of the employee organisations and three representatives of the students.

The Council for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities shall: 

  • be a driving force in the university's strategic work to prevent discrimination and promote equality, equal opportunities, equal rights and possibilities in accordance with both internal regulations and applicable laws and regulations.
  • prepare strategy documents and updated governing documents within the area.
  • be responsible for proposing distribution of funds to the Vice-Chancellor and to follow up the distribution, annually analyse and follow up the university-wide work.
  • when necessary, appoint and give assignments to working groups with different expertise.

Expert group

To strengthen the Council's work and make it easier for the Council to make science-based decisions, the Council has appointed an expert group with documented expertise in gender equality and equal opportunities and good knowledge of the organisation. 

The task of the expert group is to

  • work on issues directly assigned by the Council,
  • assist in the strategic work by, among other things, producing a knowledge base for the Council's decisions, monitoring the surrounding world and propose initiatives,
  • assisting with analyses in working with follow-ups.

Members of the expert group for the period 2024-2027

This is how we work with gender equality and equal opportunities

Equal Opportunities Plan for Lund University

Lund University consists of the people who work or study here. We have various roles, we are in different locations, carrying out different duties but together, we form a successful university with great breadth.

We are to be a world-class university that works to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition. This is a vision that presupposes academic freedom but also a good work and learning environment.

The Equal Opportunities Plan for Lund University covers the period from 2022 to 2027. The plan highlights four overall goals:

  1. Recruitment processes and career paths are to be free from discrimination
  2. There is to be a high level of knowledge and understanding of gender equality and equal opportunities in the organisation
  3. Systematic preventive work against discrimination (SFAD) is to be active and dynamic
  4. Management of, and preventive work against, victimisation, harassment and sexual harassment are to be professional.

The plan intends to highlight and clarify the University’s ambitions and strategic orientation in gender equality and equal opportunities. The plan is also to meet the requirements set by the government concerning gender mainstreaming, as well as the requirements for a gender equality plan set by the EU Commission for eligibility to apply for grants from Horizon Europe.


Equal opportunities report

Gender equality and equal opportunities are fundamental to all parts of Lund University's operations. The faculties/equivalent work for gender equality and equal opportunities is reported annually in an equal opportunities report for each financial year that follows the Discrimination Act (2008: 567) Chapter 3 active measures.

The Equal Opportunities Report function both as a tool that simplifies the documentation of the systematic preventive work with active measures in four steps against discrimination (SFAD) and as a way to spread knowledge and good ideas within the university.  

Tellus - strengthen the preventive work against sexual harassment

The Tellus project started in 2018 and ran until December 2022. The project aimed to strengthen the preventive work against sexual harassment and to contribute to a safe study and work environment for everyone who is active at the university.

The project collected data from surveys, interviews and focus group discussions with employees, doctoral students and students at Lund University, regarding sexual harassment, harassment and victimisation. The study was conducted in the autumn 2018 until the early spring of 2020.

The results of the survey were presented in a report in 2020.

For more information about the project and the following research on the subject, please contact the former project manager professor Anette Agardh anette [dot] agardh [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se .

Gender Mainstreaming

The Government has commissioned Lund University to continue to develop the work with gender mainstreaming at the university. The assignment will contribute to the achievement of the previous Government's political gender equality goals.

Gender mainstreaming is a strategy for achieving a gender-equal society. It means that a gender perspective should be included in all decisions, at all levels and at all stages of the process, by those involved in decision-making. 

Gender mainstreaming differs from the ordinary statutory systematic preventive work against discrimination with active measures, which takes place on an ongoing basis in the organisation.

Lund University began work on gender mainstreaming in 2017, and then wrote a plan for gender mainstreaming for the period 2017-2019. The focus was on the recruitment process of employees as well as on broadened recruitment and broadened participation of students.

The university will continue to work with gender mainstreaming of the recruitment process, with a focus on a clear process for the recruitment of assistant professors, senior lecturers and professors. The university’s’ work with gender mainstreaming is defined in the Equal Opportunities Plan for Lund University which covers the period from 2022 to 2027.

Horizon Europe – Gender Equality Plan

From the application rounds that have a deadline of 2022, those applying for research funding from the EU program Horizon Europe must be able to show that their higher education institution has a Gender Equality Plan (GEP).

The above mentioned Equal Opportunities Plan for Lund University 2022-2027, fills the requirements for a GEP, according to the demands from Horizon Europe.

Read more about Horizon Europe on the web pages of Research Services

Rooms for reflection and contemplation 

Rooms for reflection and contemplation are non-bookable spaces within the University that provide opportunities for meditation, reflection or prayer. The rooms are open to students and staff of the University, regardless of faith or belief. 

Read about the University’s Rooms for reflection and contemplation on the webpage