Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): UC delivers recommendations to foster co-responsible relationships

In 2020, only 0.2% of parents used the parental postnatal in Chile. The reality of UC is not far from the national average, since since the enactment of the law that allows the transfer of part of the leave from the mother to the father, this benefit has only been used twice, according to the director of People of the university, Fernanda Vicuña, at the launch of the document “Building co-responsible relationships at UC”.

With the aim of moving towards a scenario where the time dedicated to the family and caring for people is distributed equally between men and women, the UC Gender Equity Department has prepared a guide with definitions and suggestions to favor the within the university community the principles of co-responsibility.

In 2020, only 0.2% of parents used the parental postnatal in Chile

At the launch of the document, on March 29, the rector Ignacio Sánchez explained that, although it is about guidelines that can be freely taken or not, within the families of those who work and study at UC, they seek “a more equitable distribution of domestic tasks and care of people, which in turn allows all the people who make up the family unit to fully develop in all spheres of life”.

This becomes particularly important in light of the experience of the quarantines due to the COVID pandemic in Chile, where the demand for care within the home and the unpaid workload increased, particularly impacting women and generating setbacks in progress. in terms of gender equity.


At the launch of the document, on March 29, the rector Ignacio Sánchez explained that, although it is about guidelines that can be freely taken or not, within the families of those who work and study at UC, they seek “a more equitable distribution of domestic tasks and care of people”. Photo credits: Cesar Cortes.
During the first semester of 2021, the UC Gender Equality Department carried out a survey that concluded, among other aspects, that “in order to advance gender equality, the UC community considers it necessary to consider elements of gender equality, such as co-parenting and co-responsibility for parenting, keeping in mind the perspective of gender equity when designing policies and services within the UC, and making care work visible through the installation of regulations that benefit women and men” , explained the director of Gender Equity, Silvana Zanlungo.

“A co-responsible conciliation allows us to advance on the path of equal opportunities between men and women, achieving a balance in the development of professional, family and personal life” – Silvana Zanlungo, Director of Gender Equity UC

Added to this internal dimension is the importance of the UC as a benchmark in the university sphere, and at a national level, which was highlighted by the UC Academic Vice Chancellor, Fernando Purcell, who has decisively promoted the work of the Equity department of Gender.

“There are changes that we want to forge at the country level. To move forward, we need to put our educational project at the center, also involving everyone who makes up our community as agents of change for the university and for Chile,” said the authority, to which he added: “It is necessary to leave behind stagnant divisions of gender roles that are unfair, it is even necessary to generate personal discomfort -and I include myself in this-, when we feel that through our ways of acting we limit the integral development of some member of our families”.

Communication and active listening in work spaces
The document consists of an introduction that addresses what is co-responsibility, conciliation, active parenthood in the home, among other aspects, as well as the importance of communication, active listening and permanent bond at work. His recommendations seek to build a space for equitable, collaborative and respectful coexistence, “that demystifies the assignment of roles and invites us to collectively walk the path towards equal opportunities,” said the rector Ignacio Sánchez.

“It is important to mention that a co-responsible conciliation allows us to advance on the path of equal opportunities between men and women, achieving a balance in the development of professional, family and personal life”, indicated the director of Gender Equality, Silvana Zanlungo, who, in addition, stressed the importance of the paternal role so that boys and girls can learn from healthy gender models, and adapt to the changes that may occur inside and outside the family unit.

In this context, maintaining constant communication and active listening in workspaces allows sharing information and transmitting personal situations, to strengthen trust, channel any concerns and particular situations, all of which is addressed in the document, available on the website website of the UC Gender Equity Directorate.

Along with this delivery, the Gender Equity department is working to create more guidelines that will allow the generation of a policy that contributes to fostering co-responsibility in collaboration and joint work with other UC units. It is also expected, in the future, to systematize, together with G9 and Triad universities (made up of the UC, the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico), a set of conciliation and co-responsibility measures.

“With these inputs, and based on collaborative work, from the entire community, we hope to design a co-responsibility and well-being policy, which includes both national and international good practice experiences,” he said.

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