ACU Gender Programme

Empowering women through higher education

The ACU Gender Programme supports people across the Commonwealth through local projects, grants and advocacy. Our initiatives impact a broad range of areas from championing women in leadership to combating sexual violence on campus.

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We believe higher education has the power to transform the lives of women and girls globally. As part of our commitment to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, we connect and convene changemakers committed to the cause of gender equality and quality education in their home countries and internationally.

Our work

Our work is involved in all aspects of higher education and research, from climate change, research management to STEM mentoring. We address gender issues by connecting with partner universities across our interconnected and diverse member community. 

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Over the last 30 years, we’ve seen a ripple effect out of positive outcomes from institutions to the lives of everyday people.

We support and fund innovative workshops, events and fellowship programmes with the goal of greater equality and equity for women and girls everywhere. Our current programmes include:

  • ACU Grants
  • ACU Measures
  • Martha Farrell Fellowship
  • Impact

    Education is a catalyst for change, a force for good and a necessity for healthier, more empowered lives. Since 2016, our gender grants enable university students and academics from Commonwealth countries to promote gender equity and equality through innovative workshops.   

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    Impact of gender grants

    The Sri Lanka Initiative 

    The Sri Lanka Initiative was set up to allow female students and academics in Sri Lanka to share their personal experiences of gender bias, marginalisation and discrimination faced by women within higher educational institutions. The ACU and the University Grants Commission joined forces to to promote gender equality and equity at state universities in Sri Lanka.

    Our Sri Lanka Initiative has had full participation from all vice-chancellors and deputy-vice chancellors involved in the collaborative partnership between universities. 

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    Follow the conversation on Twitter at #ACUGender.