Closing conference of Academic Women’s Empowerment Project, run by PSUT and Petra

Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 13:00


Her Excellency Haifa Al-Najjar, the Minister of Culture, patronized the opening ceremony of the closing conference of the project " Female Academic Role Model Empowerment, Equality and Sustainability at Universities in Mediterranean Region: towards 2030 Agenda – FREE", at Princess Sumaya University for Technology and Petra. The project has been receiving EU support since 2019, within the initiatives of the Erasmus projects. The ceremony was attended by the Secretary-General of the Association of Arab Universities, His Excellency Prof. Amr Ezzat Salama.
The project involves strengthening the role of academic women in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, by seeking greater and more effective involvement of female academics in decision-making centers in higher education institutions, promoting gender equality policy, and preparing empowered female role models.
Al-Najjar said that Jordan, which brings the Arab countries together with the European Union, represents diversity, quality, pluralism, governance, and work with absolute integrity. She highlighted the importance of cooperation and partnership between all sectors for real equality between academic women and men.
Al-Najjar also stressed the importance of the status of women in the homeland, which is part of its steadfastness in the path of development, praising women academics, who are referred to as eminent ones, who were a role model for women as they seek to occupy the highest leadership positions.
To this, the President of PSUT, Prof. Mashhoor Al-Refai, said that the university, under the directives of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Chair of its Board of Trustees, has determined to undertake the task of empowering women as a noble goal that seeks to involve them in the prosperity and development of society, explaining that women academics at PSUT have taken, and continue to take, their true role without discrimination or distinction. 
Al-Refai indicated that the most prominent achievement of the project at PSUT was the establishment of the Center for Sustainability and Equality, to be a source of ideas, initiatives and activities that can further empower women academics, so that they can take their place, side by side, with their male counterparts in working towards growth.
The President of the University of Petra, Prof. Marwan Muwalla, said that the university has provided leadership opportunities for women academics, which made them part of its decision-making bodies, indicating that Petra has three female deans and several directors who carry out a wide range of responsibilities. He went on to praise all the efforts made with all partners to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
* Rosa Martin Aranda vice chancellor of research and First Vice chancellor of National University of Distance Education-UNED in Spain, reviewed the details of the project, stating that more than 1,700 academics were trained in the first and second phases in the field of equality and sustainability in several universities in the Mediterranean region.
She added that the issue of gender was one of the project’s most important goals, in addition to equality, noting the request for feedback from partners for improvement and development on the project.
PSUT’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Wejdan Abu Al-Haijaa, indicated that women are equal to men in work and achievement, and pointed out ways to increase women’s participation in academia. She also stated that women have to work harder than men to move from the shadows to the spotlight and from marginalization towards the center of work and achievement.
Prof. Walid Salameh, Professor of Computer Engineering and Project Coordinator at PSUT, reviewed the project's objectives, the obstacles encountered in its implementation, and its beneficial outcomes. He also talked about the aspirations that the university sets in its plans towards building a democratic higher education sector in cooperation with partners.
The 2-day conference includes sessions to discuss the outcomes of the conference, how to implement them, and other matters related to the project topics.