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November 15, 2018

6th GenderForum

As in previous years, Annelene Gäckle, as Central Equal Opportunities Officer, and Prof. Manuela Günter, in her role as Vice Rector for Equality and Diversity, gave a review of the year 2018 and an outlook for the coming year 2019. Alongside the fact that the proportion of women in the administration's department heads has fallen, it was also presented that the proportion of women among the professors has reached the 30 percent mark in 2017. A reason to be pleased, even if this is mainly due to the high proportion of guest and substitute professorships. In 2018 it was also possible to set up toilets for all genders in some locations on the campus, in the summer the rainbow flag was raised in front of the main building for the first time in order to send out a signal against discrimination, and the university was awarded the TOTAL E-QUALITY rating for equal opportunities and diversity for the fourth time in a row.

Prorector Manuela Günter gave an overview of the upcoming events from two years of work around the audit "Shaping Diversity" and also announced a reason to celebrate: 100 years of women's studies at the University of Cologne and on this occasion an event of the Equal Opportunity Commissioner on April 11, 2019 with the title "Women Start Through". Afterwards the current guest lectureship of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Dr.' Vanessa Eileen Thompson , from the Goethe University Frankfurt was introduced. She will give various lectures and seminars in WS 18/19. Furthermore, her lecture on December 13, 2018 "There is no Justice, just us! Approaches to a postcolonial-feminist critique of the police using the example of 'Racial Profiling'" is open to the public.


The originally planned impulse lecture had to be cancelled due to illness and instead four high chairs stood in front of the audience, which invited to an open discussion on the topic of anti-feminism in the university context.

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Image: Fabian Stürtz

Of course, the GenderForum once again provided a celebratory setting for the presentation of the Jenny Gusyk Awards of the University of Cologne in the categories Innovation, Family-friendly Leadership and Young Scientist.

Annelene Gäckle gave the laudation for the Innovation Award and presented it to Prof.'. Dr. Kirsten Schindler, Sabrina Schumacher and Lena Mertens from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities for the Family Day held there. As Gäckle explained, the Family Day was "an innovative measure implemented by the prizewinners in a sustainable way, which places the topic of the compatibility of family and career/study into the focus of the entire faculty in a powerful, lively and appreciative way".

Prof. Dr. Bernd W. Böttiger, Director of the Clinic for Anaesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine at the University Hospital of Cologne, received the Award for Family-friendly Leadership, which was presented to him by Ira Künnecke from the Dual Career & Family Support. He was honoured for his special commitment within the 3-year clinic project "Family-friendly anaesthesiology at the University Hospital of Cologne" and the resulting permanent implementation of family-friendly working conditions for the medical staff.

The Young Scientist Award was presented to Sarah Tewelde-Negassi for her state examination work The Motif of the Machine-Woman Reconsidered: Towards a Female Cyborg in Eve of Destruction (1991), Ex_Machina (2015) and Her (2013). Dirk Schulz, from GeStiK, emphasized in his laudation that "theories of gender studies based on literature, media and history are related to films and a complex network between theory and film studies is designed. The state examination work bears witness to the great intensity with which Ms. Tewelde-Negassi approaches her object of investigation, as well as to the urgency with which she uses future projections of femininity as an occasion to contour and analyse gender configurations in the present and the past."


The evening concluded with finger food, desserts and cold drinks at the closing get-together and all participants had the opportunity to network further, to discuss the inputs or to catch up with former colleagues.