Go back

Equality & Diversity

Working Group

Chair: Annalisa Oboe

Professor of English and Postcolonial literatures (Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies) at the University of Padua, Italy, where she currently serves as the Director of the ‘Elena Cornaro’ University Centre for gender studies and policies. Her research focuses on postcolonial theory and cultures, contemporary Anglophone literatures, women’s writing, African and Black Atlantic narratives, postcolonial Italy. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the online open-access scientific journal From the European South: a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities. A complete list of academic publications is available at the RESEARCH Padua Archive.

Vice-Chair: Vera Sokolova

Associate Professor of History and the Head of Graduate Program in Gender Studies at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. She is a coordinator of the Gender 4EU+ network of the 4EU+ European University Alliance; a member of the Working Group for Equal Opportunities at Charles University; former member of the Committee for Sexual Minorities of the Government Council of the Czech Republic; and member of several editorial boards of academic journals and research boards of academic societies. She specializes in comparative history of gender and sexuality, stratified reproduction and reproductive technologies, collective memory and public space. She is the author of four books and numerous chapters and research articles, mostly in English.

Focus of Working Group

ED WG aims at working with and providing support to Coimbra Group Universities in the areas of inclusive education and leadership, equality between men and women, diversity and intersectionality.

Equality and inclusion are of crucial importance in facilitating long-term improvement of the quality and excellence in research and innovation, and for that reason, the ED WG continues to focus its primary attention and activities in this direction. As global challenges and threats affect all humanity and answers must be increasingly sought together, equality and diversity become increasingly entangled concepts.

The ED WG’s secondary focus is on promoting the incorporation of equality and diversity into pedagogical practices, collaborative research projects and institutional measures across the CG. In the next 3 years, the ED WG will continue to hold and improve regular WG meetings as an essential mode of sharing good practices and jointly thinking through the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) agenda in the CG institutions in international and EU contexts.

The main tasks of the ED WG in the upcoming three years are the following:

  • to open up ED WG’s debates and initiatives to all CG universities and the European University Alliances by sharing workshops, webinars and advocacy initiatives on urgent questions of antiracist and antisexist education, as well as collaborative work towards non-discrimination in academia;
  • to embrace the challenge of facing and digging into the digital domain, looking at algorithmic biases in Artificial Intelligence in relations to questions of ethics and social justice;
  • to continue serving as an EDI advisory body for the leaderships of our respective universities in the area of diversity, inclusion and intersectional policies and practices;
  • to continue participating in the Commission’s sub-group of experts on ‘Inclusive Gender Equality in the European Research Area’ (ERA Policy Agenda Action 5).

Priorities for 2024 – 2026

  • Moving beyond Gender-Based Violence in academia and in society.
  • Continuing work on/around Intersectionality, particularly as regards sexism and racism.
  • Surveying how CG Universities, as scientific and pedagogical institutions, collect and use data to fight against discriminations.
  • Jointly working with other CG Working Groups on the impacts of AI on academia.
  • Consulting EC documents and policies about EDI dimensions in academia, research and innovation.

Recent highlights:

  • “Racism at Coimbra Group Universities”: joint open session developed in collaboration with the Heritage Working Group at the CG 2023 Annual Conference held at the University of Cologne. The session aimed to promote inter-university dialogue on the problems of intellectual heritage of colonialism and authoritarianism and the role of universities in shaping the identity practices in present-day Europe (June 2023-.
  • Intersectionality: How do we bridge the gap between the concept and its implementation? ED WG online meeting with invited speakers (September 2023).
  • The violence of gender discrimination from an intersectional perspective: moving forward: ED Working Group in-presence meeting in connection with the UN ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ annual international campaign (1 December 2023).

Ongoing/forthcoming activities:


  • Practicing intersectionality and inclusive pedagogy: continue ED WG’s investigation of the theme, especially concerning how we may bridge the gap between the concept and its implementation. We will collect data on the incorporation of diversity into pedagogical practices from an intersectional perspective across CG, particularly as regards antiracist and antisexist education (Spring-Summer 2024).
  • On the question of data collection and use in relation to equality/equity in academia, we plan to organize two webinars with invited speakers, with follow-up actions by CG universities:
  • 1. Webinar on Data collection and how it impacts on the archives of knowledge, inclusive gender equality, and other kinds of equal opportunity and affirmative action practices (Autumn 2024).
  • 2. Webinar on the issue of Data, the Reform of Research Assessment and the slow progress of women in academic careers (Spring 2025).


  • Focus on the digital domain and social justice through the organization of two webinars with invited speakers, with follow-up actions by CG universities, one in autumn 2025 and one in Spring 2026:
  • Webinar on algorithmic bias in Artificial Intelligence (Autumn 2025).
  • Webinar on feminist digital justice, with Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director of ITforChange India, and activist for the rights of women in communication (Spring 2026).
  • Collaboration with STEM WG on the topics of EDI in digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, participation in promotion and outreach of our collaborative efforts.

Contact person at the CG Office: Emmanuelle Gardan (gardan@coimbra-group.eu)