Koç University UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality and Sustainable Development was established in May, 2016 with an agreement between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Koc University. The Chair corresponds to a higher-education institution and a research center, serving as a hub for the intersection of science and society. The Chair combines two key aspects of human well-being, gender equality and sustainable development. The Chair aims the advancement of research in these two main intersecting topical areas and the establishment of national, regional and international cooperation among researchers. The UNESCO Chair is housed at Koç University and is closely associated with the University’s Gender Studies Center (KOÇ-KAM). Established in 2010, KOÇ-KAM is actively funding research projects, providing training programs, networking and collaborating with other similar centers and NGO’s in Türkiye and abroad.
Bertil Emrah Oder UNESCO Chairholder
Esra Özcan UNESCO Chair Executive Director


Development objectives (long-term)

  • Promoting gender equality in Türkiye
    • Promoting advancement of gender equality in academia, in the public sector, in the private sector, and in law
    • Establishing substantial collaboration with other stakeholders such as research centers, NGO’s, and the public and private sector involving sustainable efforts toward gender equality
    • Transferring know-how and establishing individual and institutional collaborations within Türkiye, the Mediterranean and between Türkiye and Europe
  • Advancing sustainable development, human development and human well-being at individual and societal level
    • Advancing research on the role of gender equality for sustainable development
    • Advocating gender equality for sustainable development
  • Developing research on gender studies
    • Mainstreaming gender equality into research programs
    • Advancing interdisciplinary research on gender equality and sustainable development in education, social and human sciences, and natural sciences in Türkiye, and its region

Specific objectives (short-term)

  • Promoting and supporting research on gender studies particularly from gender equality and sustainable development perspectives
  • Encouraging interest and advancing policy-relevant applied research in gender studies
  • Training professionals on gender equality
  • Providing policy advice on gender equality and sustainable development