Since its establishment, Sabancı University has given special attention to the issue of gender. Our academic principles include:

Academic freedom
Document on Measures and Principles Against Sexual Harassment
Domestic Violence Prevention and Support Principles

Based on these principles, we have created the following two important studies as a result of the studies we have carried out within the university since 2002 as faculty members, students, and administrative staff from different faculties.

Sabancı Üniversitesi Cinsel Tacize Karşı Önlem ve Destek İlkeleri Belgesi

Aile İçi Şiddeti Önleme ve Destek İlkeleri

Sabancı University Gender Studies Doctorate Program, which is an interdisciplinary program, aims to explore how gender and sexual relations shape political, economic, social, and cultural formations by introducing doctoral students to the concepts, methods, and new research that shape gender analysis, by nurturing different academic disciplines.

The doctoral program has two goals: First, to provide advanced education and research opportunities for academics and educators candidates; second, to train professionals who will conduct gender studies in areas such as public policy, non-governmental organizations, and human rights research and advocacy. The Gender Studies doctoral program is designed as a collaborative, interdisciplinary initiative of faculty members in Anthropology, Sociology, Literature, Political Science, Conflict Studies, History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Management and Natural Sciences.

Warm congratulations to Akanksha Misra (CULT MA, 2011) who has recently defended her Ph.D. and started teaching as Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at SUNY, Plattsburgh. As she explains below, Akanksha has contributed immensely to various SU Gender projects, workshops, and conferences since 2010, and we look forward to collaborating with her on ongoing cutting-edge research on gender, sexuality, and education. 


Akanksha Misra (Ph.D., University of Washington, 2020) 


Thesis Title: "Erotics of Pedagogical Spaces: Schools, Sexuality and the Desiring Body in India and Turkey"

This thesis research and writing was supported by the following fellowships: University of Washington Chester Fritz Fellowship for International Research and Study, American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Junior Fellowship, and University of Washington Society of Scholars Dissertation Writing Fellowship


Job Title: Assistant Professor of Gender and Women Studies at State University of New York (SUNY), Plattsburgh, starting Fall 2020.


My connection with SU Gender is sporadic but long- it's like meeting a beloved cousin or friend who you haven't met for years but once you do, it's like you were always together- it feels perfect! I first collaborated with SU Gender in 2010 when we got the child sexual abuse and incest specialist, Anuja Gupta, founder of RAHI organization from New Delhi, India. RAHI is India's pioneer organization working on incest and we organized a round table where Anuja discussed her experiences with activists and therapists in Istanbul, followed by a Q&A. Soon after, I invited Richa Nagar from the University of Minnesota to speak about her inspirational book- Playing with Fire- a transformative text of Transnational Feminism- that inspired many South-South conversations between feminists in India, Turkey, and beyond. Through SU Gender, I was also fortunate to get to know Richa at a personal level, which transformed my life and academic aspirations. Several years later, as a Ph.D. scholar working on gender and education at the University of Washington, I was once again fortunate to be invited by my teacher and professor Dr. Altinay to attend SU Gender's teacher training of future teachers from Bogazici university on gender issues. That meeting was very informative and led to some contacts that proved to be invaluable for my research. SU gender also provided me information about the Mor Sertifika program that once again really broadened my perspective as a teacher and researcher. I also presented at SU Gender's May 2018 conference on Gender and Education and received invaluable feedback for my dissertation. Finally, I was also introduced to Dr. Srila Roy, an Indian scholar of gender studies from Wits University, South Africa, through her talk at SU Gender in 2017, and she continues to be an inspiration for my transnational feminist work. Thank you SU Gender for all these wonderful years of support and inspiration!  


The Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) which Sabancı University started in 2019, will be put into action as of 2021.


The Gender Equality Action Plan, carried out within the scope of the European Union Horizon 2020 GEARING-Roles project, was designed as a unique collection of research and practices in which Sabancı University's ethical principles, strategic goals and research strategy were all considered. The action steps determined in the Gender Equality Action Plan aim to reflect our institutional stance in the field of gender equality at every point of our academic and administrative mechanisms. These actions have been categorized under 8 main headings in line with the needs and goals of Sabancı University.

  • Institutionalization of Gender Equality
  • Recruitment
  • Career Progression
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Decision Making and Leadership
  • Research
  • Curriculum and Teaching
  • Sexual Harassment, Anti-Assault and Anti-Discrimination Mechanisms and Gender-Neutral Communication

During this process:

  • An Institutional Evaluation Report (2019) was prepared within the framework of the research methodology produced with the expertise gained from similar preliminary projects funded by the EU.
  • More than 30 interviews, focus groups and co-creation workshops were conducted with the participation of 100 academics, academic administration staff and students from various units of the university.
  • The Gender Equality Task Force (GETF) was established in June 2019 with the participation of 28 faculty members, administrative staff, directors and students from different faculties and units of our university. The GEP Committee took on an active role in the execution of the project.
  • Implementation of the action plans has already begun. Gender Equality Training, in cooperation with SU Gender, was completed with the participation of 216 employees from Human Resources, Student Resources, Marketing and Corporate Communication and Information Center units. The aim is to offer this training to all university employees.
  • The “Gender Equality Officer” role was created under the umbrella of the Human Resources Department at our university.

The Sabancı Univeristy Gender Equality Action Plan can be reached here.


Our President Yusuf Leblebici’s message about Gender Equality Action Plan