Equity and Diversity Statement

The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has set itself the goal of creating an inclusive community of equal scholars respecting and valuing diversity. The Cluster therefore promotes – and, if appropriate, demands – equality between people regardless of gender, origin, age, religion or worldview, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental impairment. The Cluster believes that creating and maintaining a diverse working environment based on mutual recognition and free of discrimination provides the optimal conditions for conducting excellent research.

The research theme of “Religion and Politics” requires and promotes a particular sensitivity to cultural diversity and different religious and non-religious beliefs and commitments. Research at the Cluster is conducted by scholars from a wide range of religious, non-religious and other cultural backgrounds, and from many parts of the world. Its work is based on the conviction that only such a diversity of perspectives can do justice to the complex phenomenon of religion and its political entanglements. Research on “Religion and Politics” can also contribute to a climate of mutual respect in society by heightening awareness of diversity and different religious and non-religious beliefs, and by making experiences of discrimination visible. By communicating its research findings on the integration of religious diversity and on the connection between religion, politics and images of gender, the Cluster feeds constructively into current socio-political debates.

The creation of equal opportunities and a climate that respects diversity requires the commitment of all of those working at the Cluster – all researchers as well as all guests and the staff in academic management. For its part, the Cluster creates structures aimed at preventing and combatting discrimination, and fostering an academic environment that recognizes the social diversity and heterogeneity of researchers, while promoting their different skills and potential. The efforts of the Cluster are oriented towards the German Research Foundation’s standards of structural and personnel-related equity and diversity, which deploy criteria of consistency, transparency, competitiveness and competence. The academic management of the Cluster takes issues of equality into account at all levels of decision-making. In pursuit of this commitment, the Cluster has appointed a dedicated Equity and Diversity Officer who is involved in all relevant management processes. Additionally, Cluster members elect from among themselves a Commission for Equity and Diversity, which is tasked with working closely with the Cluster’s Equity and Diversity Officer and with the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Officers of both the participating departments and the University of Münster as a whole to develop and review equal opportunity measures, to increase protection against discrimination in everyday working life, and to act as a point of contact for issues related to equality.

The Cluster’s efforts to promote equality and respect diversity are embedded within the structures of the University of Münster, which, as a family-friendly university, gives great importance to gender equality. It views the combatting of gender-based discrimination as a cross-sectional task incumbent not only upon the University management but also upon the faculties, departments and smaller teaching units. Specific goals, measures and strategies are anchored in the University’s gender concept, the Equal Opportunity Concept for Parity at the University of Münster, and the Equal Opportunity Framework Plan of the University of Münster. The German Research Foundation gave the best possible rating to the University of Münster’s gender equality measures in 2013, and these have been continuously developed since then.