DCU has said that only women will be considered for three positions offered in Saudi Arabia due to the fact that it is a women’s only school.
DCU put up applications for a lecturer in data analytics, an assistant professor in data analytics and an adjunct lecturer in advanced practice nursing for Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University (PNU).
According to DCU, only women can apply due to a “genuine occupational requirement”.
The position for a lecturer in data analytics expired on February 28th. The other two positions remain open, with the assistant professor job closing applications on March 12th.
However, the chosen candidates will be employed by DCU Commercial Designated Activity Company, an equal opportunity employer. That means they can’t discriminate against nine protected classes, including gender.
The Department of Education told The Irish Times that: “It is a requirement within PNU that only female academic staff teach the female student populace . . . which DCU must meet in order to deliver the programmes.”
The successful candidates will be provided with “high quality” accommodation in the faculty section of accommodation in PNU, which is near the university gym.
The application also states that the candidates must be sensitive to the changing educational agenda in Saudi Arabia.
PNU’s website states that assistant professor applicants can’t be over 50 years old, in addition to being a woman. However, this information is not listed in DCU’s application.
DCU Feminist society’s campaign manager Alannah Kearney described the situation as unfortunate but a necessary evil.
She said: “I would say that this issue is easily solved, but is a conversation starter for gender equality in the workplace with a heavy focus on men.”
DCU initially signed a four-year partnership with PNU back in the summer of 2012. It has accepted almost 600 Saudi female students since then. DCU said that: “the impact of obtaining a DCU degree on the lives of these young women is likely to be very significant.”
Two degrees are being offered by the DCU Business School in PNU: a bachelor’s in business studies international finance and a bachelor’s in marketing, innovation and technology.
Brendan Kelly Palenque
Image Credit: The Irish Times