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Looking back at UniSAFE’s final conference

Dec 1, 2023 | Blog, Project news

On 21 and 22  November, UniSAFE held its final conference, “From Policy to Practice: Pathways to End Gender-Based Violence in Academia and Research,” in Namur, Belgium to share the project’s findings, tools and recommendations aimed at providing a safer academic environment for students and staff. Over the course of the past three years, UniSAFE’s team dedicated their efforts to study the prevalence of gender-based violence within academic and research settings, while also examining the institutional responses. A comprehensive survey, coupled with insights from interviews, policy mapping, and case studies, were analysed during this event.

As we look back on this inspiring 1.5-day event, we invite you to explore the sessions and discussions that took place during this gathering!

View the photo gallery


Day 1: Setting the scene

through policies

Keynote speech: Ensuring safety and equity in academia and research: a matter of justice


  • Françoise Tulkens, former judge at the European Court of Human Rights

UniSAFE’s conceptual framework and key outputs


  • Sofia Strid, UniSAFE scientific coordinator

Session 1: Commitments addressing gender-based violence at international level


  • Olena Kharytonova, GREVIO, Council of Europe
  • Carl Vannetelbosch, UNESCO, Inclusion, Rights and Intercultural Dialogue Section
  • Anne Pépin, European Commission, DG RTD Gender Sector.

Session 2: Policy frameworks at national level: Opportunities and limitations for institutional responses to gender-based violence.

Moderator: Marcela Linková, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences 

  • Suzanne Walker, Higher Education Authority, IE
  • Louise Crowley, University College Cork, IE
  • Lucie Viktorinová, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, CZ
  • Pavla Špondrová, Ombudsperson at Faculty of Arts, Charles University, CZ
  • Chloé Mour, Ministry of Higher Education and Research, FR
  • Elisabeth Kohler, CNRS, FR

Day 2: On to practice: concrete pathways for institutional change

Session 3: Evidence for driving action within institutions: insights from UniSAFE’s research

  • Zuzana Andreska, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Maria Bustelo, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Anne Laure Humbert, Oxford Brookes University
  • Alain Denis, Yellow Window

Session 4: More evidence driving action: collecting data with a survivor-centred approach

 Moderated by Anke Lipinsky, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences  Presenters:  

  • Claudia Schredl, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences 
  • Vilana Pilinkaite, Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences
  • Fredrik Bondestam, Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, University of Gothenburg

Session 5: Where to start? Improving, Implementing and Assessing institutional policies with the UniSAFE toolkit


  • Panagiota Polykarpou, Yellow Window 
  • Vasia Madesi, Yellow Window 


  • Jasna Podreka, University of Ljubljana 
  • Pascale Vielle, University of Louvain-la-Neuve
  • François-Xavier Fiévez, University of Namur

Poster presentation of sister projects’ outputs and awareness-raising campaigns in universities

Session 6: Mutual learning as a means to advance change among umbrella organisations

Presentation of UniSAFE’s recommendations:
Colette Schrodi, ESF

Moderator: Matthias Girod, Euroscience 


  • Francesca Bucci, LERU
  • Siobán O’Brien Green, Trinity College 
  • Daria Glavan, YERUN
  • Ana Marija Sikirić Simčić, UNIGEM

Session 7: Pathways for change: steps ahead 


  • Marcela Linková, Co-Chair of ERA Action 5 on inclusive gender equality implementation
  • Silvia Rueda, Advisory Member in the Cabinet of the Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation, Director of the Women and Science Unit, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
  • Lut Mergaert, Research Director and Senior Consultant at Yellow Window