Gender Narratives in Academia: how gender is constructed through gender policies in Italian universities


  • Giulia Arena University of Genoa



gender equality in academia, equality diversity and inclusion, gender mainstreaming, gender policies, gender equality plans


This proposal aims to explore gender equality measures in the academic context, which is undergoing changes such as the recent introduction of the Gender Equality Plan requirement and the broadening of equality, diversity and inclusion topics, both in research and in the actions practically proposed. Assuming that gender is continuously made and 'unmade' through gender policies (Acker, 1990), the key question is what kind of gender narrative is proposed by these measures, often attributed to the framework of gender mainstreaming (O'Hagan and Klatzer, 2018). This paper aims to discuss and problematise this assumption from a theoretical and critical perspective, with the use of the methodology known as Critical Frame Analysis that originates in the field of public policy (Bacchi and Eveline, 2010). The use of Critical Frame Analysis applied to the main policy documents on gender measures and objectives at the Italian national level leads to a theoretical proposal on the reclassification of academic gender frameworks.