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Master Equal-Opportunity Agents for Women in the Rural Environment    

A new profession that responds to current demands

The achievement of gender equality has now become a specific framework for the development of the role of women as active citizens in society. Even though public equality policies have recently been introduced, many challenges still remain if we are to meet new social demands and overcome emerging inequalities. Public equality policies should be coordinated through the systematisation of the legal and social changes that are taking place, as well as through the reinforcement of those goals that have already been achieved.

Within this framework, there emerges the figure of the equality agent has emerged, whose main task consists in achieving both the progress and expansion of gender equality in organisations and institutions. It is therefore essential that equality issues resulting from the changes taking place in society be tackled by professionals.

This Master’s Degree falls within the framework of the Action Platform  of the Fourth World Conference of Women (Beijing 1995, Beijing +5, Beijing + 10), from the Fourth Plan of Equal Opportunities for Men and Women (2003-2006), passed by the Council of Ministers on  7 March 2003, and the Organic Law on Protection Measures Against Gender Violence. Moreover, the course provides specialised training for equality agents in rural environments.

This Master’s Degree responds to the current demand for equality agent. This demand has arisen from the need to fulfil national and international policies, which are beginning to have an influence on the highly neglected field of the situation of women in rural environments, and of migrant women in particular. Since Lleida has a long-standing agricultural economy and much of the migrant population works in the country, the University of Lleida is in an ideal location to take a lead in these issues.

Gender issues at the Universitat de Lleida

A course in gender studies was first run in 1987 at the Universitat de Lleida, when the Women's Historical Research Group was set up, which was renamed the Interdisciplinary Seminar for Women's Studies (SIED), in 1991.

Since then, the University has had lecturers and specialist researchers in gender issues who have devoted their efforts to the dissemination and promotion of knowledge about women. A number of initiatives have been put in place, including the creation in 1992 of the Women's Studies and Documentation Centre (CEDD) , which has a collection of approximately 4,000 documents (books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, videotapes, etc.)

The University has also participated in the NOW and EQUAL projects, which are aimed to achieve equal opportunities through the implementation of actions coordinated by lecturers and researchers. In addition, 2006 saw the creation of the Dolors Piera Centre for Equal Opportunities and the Promotion of Women , which tackles gender issues from both an academic perspective (by lectures and researchers) and a social perspective (implementation of equality planning).

An abridged version of this Master’s Degree was first run in 2005. This will be the third edition of the course, although this is the first year it will be taught as an official Master’s Degree.

Further information available at:

Tel.: +34 973 70 33 96

E-mail: info@sied-cedd.org

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