Relevance of the project

Three countries Morocco, Tunisia and Ukraine with different political systems, national traditions, and social attributes have a lot of common problems and also ways of their solution.

From the outset of the protests in Tunisia in December 2010, there has been a structural change in Tunisian politics, particularly as it relates to gender. At the heart of this burgeoning civil society and activism following the Jasmine Revolution is the historical status of Tunisia as the bulwark of women’s rights in the region. In January 2014, Tunisia’s parliament officially adopted a new constitution which recognises equality between men and women for the first time.

The recent occurrence termed “Arab Spring” has rough many gender issues to the table in a way not seen before and allows students to experience it in real time. The Constitution of Morocco (2011) establishes that men and women should enjoy equal rights and freedoms in all civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental matters.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine gained its independence in 1991 and has since geared towards reconciliation with Russia and integration with Western Europe. In 2004 “Orange Revolution” and in 2014 “Revolution of Dignity” forced a final turn of Ukraine to European standards, particularly in the field of gender equality. The Constitution of Ukraine upholds the principle of equality between men and women and in general terms, the country’s legislation respects the rights of women and guarantees their protection.

According to the information of United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports the Human Development Index (HDI) scores are 0.734 (UA), 0.721 (TN), 0.617 (MA) placing UA in 83th, TN in 90th, MA in 129th places out of a total of 187 countries. The Gender Inequality Indexes are 0.326 (UA), 0.265 (TN), 0.460 (MA) placing UA in 61th, TN in 48th, MA in 92th places (out of 152 countries).

The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code (categories: TN – High, MA – High, UA – Very low), restricted physical integrity (TN – Low, MA – Medium, UA – Low), son bias (TN – Very high, MA – Medium, UA – High), restricted resources and assets (TN – High, MA – Medium, UA – Very low), and restricted civil liberties (TN – Medium, MA – Low, UA – High). So, general SIGI categories in these countries are Medium in TN, Low in MN and UA.

Gender studies (GS) is an exciting field of inquiry which draws on the insights and politics of feminism to develop new and more complex understandings of gender relations and women’s historical and contemporary experiences. Feminist theory is especially important in countries with local conflicts and unstable situation. While the trainings of students in Gender Studies are performed in the majority of the EU countries, however, such programs underdeveloped or do not exist in some EU-neighbouring countries of Eastern Europe and South Mediterranean.

Educators like other citizens of these countries know much about colleagues from the media and see common problems, despite national peculiarities and differences. In each of these three partner countries that have taken the path of democratization the unstable political situation and local conflicts take place. Women are important actors in peace processes and issues regarding human rights. But in regions affected by conflict, they are excluded from the decision-making and development work. In confirmation of this monitoring studies and action of The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation have shown that “women’s rights” and “how to reach sustainable peace” are two interrelated concepts.

Regional priorities of Region 2 and 3 include some common subject areas, such as Social and Behavioural sciences, and Law, and Health, and Teacher Training and Education science, which fully comply with Gender Studies as one of the most interdisciplinary programs. So, the consortium includes HEIs that have specialists in different fields focusing on such an important part of the interdisciplinary program GS as Social and Behavioral Science.

Based on the above at present all the conditions in Morocco, Tunisia, and Ukraine are ripe for the successful implementation of the project on modernisation with gender studies different Master’s programms in the different field of Social and Behaviour Sciences, and it coincides with the regional priorities of Erasmus + in Regions 2 and 3.

The improvement and enrichment of the education systems by gender issues should be a strong factor for strengthening the ideals of democracy and should serve as peaceful settlement in the in EU-neighbouring regions of instability. Such cooperation at the international level should have an impact on the education system in partner countries, and develop cross-regional relations, and strengthen ties between Europeans and their neighbours.