New Initiative at Oxford University Sets About Tackling Sexism Within Universities

Photograph: David Levene. Taken from


Traditionally, the academic world has been dominated by men, with women struggling to be seen as equals. A new group of women are campaigning to turn things around…

Charlotte von Bulow, Chief Executive of Crossfields Institute:

“Dr Selina Todd has written an interesting article about the lack of equality in universities. She is introducing the readers to the initiative ‘Woman in the Humanities,’ which sets out to explore how gender, ethics and politics of gender identity plays out in the world of humanities academia The article talks about recurring situations that woman academics face within the current university system. I ask myself: can we expect to experience real change if the system itself doesn’t change? I believe not. Post-structualism touched the issue in the sixties, seventies and eighties and facilitated some movement but we did not see a fundamental change to the system as a result. Equality is therefore still an add-on to the current system we have (a policy, really), rather than embedded in it. Dr Todd’s article raises two questions for me: 1) what does a system look like where equality is embedded, rather than an add-on and 2) if we work on the premise that we (women) are part of the problem, what is our role in the change process?”