About gender equality at USP

Ua highly relevant issue has occupied the agenda of contemporary societies. The flags in favor of gender equality, to which various expressions of identity are mixed, have acquired contours that are, to a certain extent, independent of culture, social condition, ethnic origin, nationality. In this context, a new list of demands emerged that, if they are not new, nor unknown, impose increasing challenges. In line with the movements of repudiation of forms of domination in general, which are particularized in challenging the lack of recognition of the gradient of identities, inequities originated from the gender condition have become a constant issue in the public sphere.
The resulting structure of feelings points to changes and overcoming the existing unjust reality. Paradoxically, divergent paths coexist with these civilizing purposes. On the one hand, a sensitivity has been created that allows addressing inequalities and resolving vulnerabilities; on the other hand, intolerances, which are often expressed in various attitudes of violence, become recurrent, or, at least, are insistently reported. It is difficult to assess whether the increase in gender violence in Brazil is the result of the most accurate record of occurrences, produced by public protection policies, as well as by the dissemination of information, whether by the relevant role that the press has played in condemning such practices. , or in the insistent denunciations of social movements, especially feminists. Certainly,

Despite punitive measures, data on gender violence in Brazil are terrifying: every 8 minutes, women regardless of age are raped; every 2 hours, one is killed. These indicators are revealing an underground movement that, despite measures aimed at curbing extreme attitudes of violence, we are infinitely distant from any civilized patterns. An even more striking situation when public officials do not exercise the functions of repression, assuming, themselves, the role of punishing the victim.

The problem, therefore, stems from a myriad of causes and varied combinations of motives, the arc of which ranges from extreme economic poverty and a lack of formal education, to the skewed expressions of patriarchal masculinity, but which have been redefined in the midst modernization. On the whole, inherited values are reproduced in environments in which women started to work in public life, started to perform professional activities, to share the family budget, when they are not exclusively responsible for supporting the home, especially in needy environments. As studies show, women are the actors most committed to the values of change. Such mismatch of roles deepens the affirmation impulses of male dominance, with the current frightening effects.

What is at issue is a cultural matrix that, in principle, would be out of sync with the present, due to the transformations that have occurred. However, the previous inheritance, based on traditional relationships, started to coexist and reproduce in valuing contexts different from those in which they were born. This Brazilian peculiarity occupies all spheres of social life and has accounted for most of our impasses. In Brazil, the archaic is combined with the modern, whose consequence simultaneously provokes the reinvigoration of the tradition that redefines itself without disappearing, stifling the forces of change that, in turn, assimilate values of the past, weakening the modernizing impulses, making them restricted to the commercial sphere that develops without legs. This drama of Brazilian history,

If these more visible and even dramatic forms of inequalities can be tackled through concrete actions, there is a whole range of inequalities that remain invisible, coming from structures organized according to isonomic criteria. These expressions are particularly common in institutions that self-legitimize on principles of merit, such as universities. In this sense, the degrees of inequality are explained by meritocratic scales without asking about their structural conditions, particularly gender. The belief in root equity is, in essence, the appearance of institutional self-deception, through which these bodies legitimize themselves. Such illusio, to accompany the category of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, is a subjective and objectively shared expression by everyone. In these environments, the treatment of unequal situations presupposes knowing, through research instruments, the differential hierarchical patterns. On the other hand, it seems necessary to formulate and implement corrective measures, which are capable of resolving inequalities. At the University of São Paulo, in particular, the USP Women Office and other relevant initiatives are underway.

At the Faculty of Law, for example, gender equality has received special attention. Although women are 50% among students, they are only 17% among teachers. So far, the most concrete measure to face this reality has been the provision for postponing the date for holding teaching competitions in case of pregnant candidate (s). At the events organized there, the presence of at least 25% of women in the composition of the tables of exhibitors, panelists, mediators and speakers was also demanded. Especially notable was the opening of the Ada Pellegrini Grinover room, the first with the name and portrait of a woman in the historic building, which has more than 15 rooms named after men.

At the same time, there is a hidden curriculum in the interactions inside the classrooms, marked by the invisibility of gender interactions (cf. Gender interactions in the USP Law School classrooms: a hidden curriculum ? Sheila Christina Neder Cerezetti et all.). Not for other reasons, undergraduate disciplines (Law and Gender Equity; Law and Discrimination) were created that aim to promote and strengthen the culture of gender equity in FD. Essentially transversal theme, it can be appropriated in several ways by teaching, research and university extension. Today, for example, female representativeness is debated in the bibliography of law courses, as well as the use, in various teaching methods, of examples of female leadership as a pedagogical resource capable of encouraging students to participate more in the debates in the classroom. class.

At the administrative level, an important measure was the institution of the gender ombudsman, responsible for receiving reports of harassment, the practice of potentially prejudiced or sexist acts, attacks of sexual or sexist connotation, as well as any manifestation of discrimination related to gender or sexual orientation.

The experience of the Faculty of Law demonstrates the wide possibilities of absorption of the gender theme in favor of facing situations of inequality, guided by culture and meritocracy. Changing cultural matrices requires effort, persistence and dedication; at USP, the recent adoption of equity measures in the granting of postgraduate scholarships and re-accreditation of advisors due to maternity leave and adoption is proof of this provision. There is still much to be done and the expressive support of students for such changes is a highly promising and encouraging sign.