Interview of the Month: KOFRAH/CODEFUHES – Switzerland (07/2016)

Every month, for you, EPWS presents the characteristics and activities of one member association.

Read all the previous Interviews with our Members here


Our member for June is the Swiss association KOFRAH/CODEFUHES.


!cid_image003_png@01D1D15C       Brigitte


For KOFRAH/CODEFUEHES, Brigitte Mantilleri, president and also director of the Equal opportunities office of the University of Geneva has accepted to answer the EPWS questionnaire.

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EPWS: If you want to describe your association in one sentence, what would you say?

BMa: It is the think tank in equal opportunities matters and gender questions in Swiss universities.

EPWS: What are the objectives of your association?

BMa: To implement equality and gender in our institutions, to make members of our universities aware of the specific problem women have to face in academy, to make them aware that it is first of all a question of structures, to raise gender awareness and to stop harassment in all its forms; and to have more women at the level of full professors and more women in sciences. We also do some lobbying with politicians, elaborate strategies and exchange good practice in our field.

EPWS: What is the history of KOFRAH/CODEFUEHES, in a few words?

BMa: KOFRAH/CODEFUEHES (Conférence des déléguées à l’égalité auprès des universités et des hautes écoles suisses) is the Conference of all equal opportunities delegates of universities and polytechnics in Switzerland.

EPWS: Could you explain the organization of your association?

BMa: We have a president and a committee formed by four members changing every two years. We All members meet every two months. The committee meets in between and prepares the meetings. We are having a General Assembly (GA) once a year, usually we invite our office staff at our GA. And we also have a two-days seminar once a year on a specific thematic with one or two conferences. Themes like diversity, gender bias, structural changes or our new Action Plans 2017-2020 have been discussed.

EPWS: What are its recent achievements?

BMa: In Spring the KOFRAH/CODEFUEHES wrote a letter to the new Commission Diversity of Swiss universities, a new structure created without consulting us, working at federal level on equal opportunities. We explained the danger of delaying our message, of not being clear of who is doing what and therefore maybe definitely weakening the equal opportunity offices and their influence within the academia.

EPWS: What is your agenda for the coming months?

BMa: Our priority is really the new Action Plans we have to finish by October 2016. Then we will candidate for funding for cooperation projects in 2017.

EPWS: Are you collaborating with other EPWS members?

BMa: Not really.

EPWS: What do you expect from EPWS? In what ways can it help you develop your action?

Bma: As we have in our Action plans different projects for women in science, we will of course benefit from your experience. We are following your work and our president is present in most of your international conferences which are definitely very interesting.

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