Gender discrimination, Dublin City University style

There was, quite properly, a massive outcry about the very intrusive health questionnaire from NUIG. However, what has crept under the table without any debate as far as I can see is a series of adverts “for women only”.

Dublin City University has a set of 4 posts advertised. The employer is DCU, an Irish higher education institution. And the posts are advertised as being for women only. Imagine if UCD or TCD were to advertise a job “only men need apply”? No, I cant either…

Yes, these posts are to conduct academic duties in Saudi Arabia, at a female¬†only college. That SA has institutionalised, legalized, entrenched misogyny is their problem. No Irish HEI should, in my view, pander to that. Imagine a post “no jews need apply”?

It may well be that it is legal to advertise these posts. It surely is not morally acceptable to so do. DCU states a number of times in its strategic plan that it wishes to foster diversity. This, how?

DCU needs money. I get that. But there are better, cleaner, ways to get it than this. I am frankly astonished that the HEA, DCU and the DES have permitted this. I am amazed that posted it. I am astonished that the unions within DCU allow their staff to process it. DCU has an education school – what message does this send to the overwhelmingly female students there? One could go on and on…

Screenshot 2015-03-29 09.15.14

Screenshot 2015-03-29 09.09.12

An update : Interestingly, these posts are not advertised on the DCU vacancies site (as of Sunday 28 March).  Why is that? What is advertised is a contract post in Finance, which states at the bottom

“DCU is a Equal Opportunities employer”

Really? What is going on here?

11 thoughts on “Gender discrimination, Dublin City University style

  1. Pingback: Ninth Level Ireland » Blog Archive » Gender discrimination, Dublin City University style

    1. bealoideas

      Right. Well just depends on whether one believes that a candidate must be hired on merit only and never sex. I presumed that is why you condemned the DCU hire but I guess your feelings against it are more to do with female only institutions.

      1. brianmlucey Post author

        My view is gender discrimination is rarely a good idea. I’m in favour of positive discrimination but not apartheid like segregation in a state where women are literally a second class. You may be happy to work with that but I’d rather not. I respect but feel your views are wrong

      2. bealoideas

        Right, then for you it is not gender discrimination issue at all, it is a why isn’t DCU boycotting Saudi Arabia issue.

        BTW I am not stating my view one way or the other.

  2. Greg Foley

    Brian, I would hazard a guess that most academics in DCU feel somewhat uncomfortable about having anything to do with Saudi Arabia, given its despicable Government and misogynistic culture. However, I think things are a little more complex than you portray. Yes, DCU stands to benefit financially from this ‘collaboration’, but surely it is only by engaging with a system, even one as dysfunctional as Saudi society, that one effects change. Surely providing education (business and finance education at that) can only strengthen the position of women in Saudi, at least in the long run. If part of that process is a relatively minor corruption of our own values, then maybe that is a price worth paying.

    I don’t know, I’m conflicted myself!

  3. wiltwhatman

    Brian. You are taking a possibly simplified view of the question.

    Doubtless, an educational apparatus that refuses to allow women to be taught by men, and men to be taught by women, and exists in a context where the freedoms of women are hugely circumscribed is profoundly problematic.

    But is the correct approach here to refuse to aid in the provision of education to a section of the populace whose access to it is already limited, hedged with obstacles, and difficult?

    We can refuse to staff these colleges, and refuse to provide educational opportunities to those most desperately in need of them. But this is no way helps improve their lot, their prospects, or their potential to achieve a significant change in their reality, experience and place in society. We salve our conscience, and we add our own seal to their fate.

    The ghastly apartheid, as you put it, is more likely to be aided by a lack of educational opportunity. Provision of educational opportunity – even within the limits you rail against – is more likley to challenge the situation.

    You point out that Saudi women are oppressed, and then argue we should fight that oppression by refusing to provide them with educational opportunities.

    I’ve taught both Saudi men, and Saudi women. I’ve taught Saudi policemen, clerics, and their daughers and their sons.

    I’ve seen Saudi women sacrifice so, so much to acess educational opportunities. Separation from their children, from their family, humiliation and ridicule at the hands of people who claim to wish to help., stares, jeers, and the constant, non stop humiliating pity and derision of the majority who engage with them.

    The greater good here is to provide access to education. We may feekl distase at how that experience os provided. But that the experience be provided trumps our misgivings. Denying these women access to education only serves to punish the already powerless, and disempower them further.

    I appreciate your misgivings. I admire your fortrightness, passion and sense of right. But I think the greater and more powerful right, and the greater and more powerful force for change involves overcoming these misgivings in the service of that greater good.

      1. wiltwhatman

        Yoiur pessimism, thoiugh you have a right to it, is not a sufficient reason to refuse to provide education to women. If you are genuinely desirous of change, then refusing to provide education to the demographic whose oppression you protest seems an unlikley way to achieve it.

        Women are the victims here. Refusing to provide them with educational opportunities compounds that.

        See this from the perspective of the Saudi women who are trying to access education. In refusing to provoide educational opportunities to them, you are denying them education, opportunity, and are undermining their ability to forge change for themselves.

        You may disagree with how the education is provided. You may have serious issues with the salafist autiocracy that runs Saudi Arabia. You may have significant pessimism about how likely that autocracy is to change it’s stripes.

        But the right, and opportunity of Saudi women to access education is far more important than your pessimism, misplaced outrage, and unimaginative conceit that their context will remain unchanged.. It outweighs it. Signiuficantly. Your sense that their context, oppression, and delimited rights will not change does not justify your decision that they should be denied access to education on the grounds of gender equality.

        Your solution – denying women in Saudi Arabia access to education as you consider that a women only school is an affront to your sense of gender equality is misguided, destructive, and, frankly, beyind irony.

        If your moral position requires you to disempoer the powerless to support it, your moral position is probably in need of fine tuning.

  4. John Hamill

    Most third level institutes employ a Roman Catholic Chaplain, which is paid for by public money. None of those positions are open to women. Is it really so hard to imagine a job at an Irish third level institute for which “no women need apply”?


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