XENIA SUPPORTS the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

xenia-logoSince 2004, on 17 May this year, 130 countries worldwide celebrated the International Day against Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Transphobia, 31 years after the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from the category of mental illness.

Despite this, lesbian, gay and bisexual people are still criminalised in many countries for their sexual behaviour, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment and even the death penalty. Transgender people suffer much institutional violence, being denied their identities. In many countries, the process of affirming gender identity (when provided for) is extremely complicated, bureaucratic and full of obstacles. Moreover, the trans condition was only depathologised in the lat DSM (Diagnostic Manual of Mental Illnesses).

It should also be considered that, beyond the structural stigma against LGBTI people, there are often additional factors of oppression linked to nationality, skin colour, disability, poverty and level of education.

In the framework of the XENIA project, the consortium intends to measure the “inclusiveness” of European Universities, with the awareness that, especially in many disadvantaged areas, the school drop-out rate of no-Cisgender students is still very high.

On an institutional level, Italy is currently awaiting the approval of a law to fight lesbian-homose-bi-transphobia, misogyny and ableism, which recognises a very important role for schools.

It is from the new generations that we must start!

XENIA Erasmus+ Project is implemented by a Consortium of 7 Partners from 5 European countries (Italy, Ireland, Slovenia, Greece and Spain). Xenia will develop an innovative and integrated tool that will support European higher education institutions -HEIs- in evaluating the actual level of inclusiveness of their environment and in identifying any efforts that can be placed to best address the needs of sexual and gender marginalized groups and ensure the protection of their fundamental rights and academicopportunities.


The DAISSy Research Group of the Hellenic Open University conducted a research on “Gender differences in STE(A)M educators: Evidence from a sample of Greek educators”

xenia-logoBasic Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) competences are critical for succeeding in most of the technical, engineering and even management related jobs, therefore STEM education is the main competence source for scientists, engineers, and workers with technological skills. Thus, there is a lot of research within educational and research community regarding students’ gender differences in STEM/STEAM fields and education. However, research on gender differences regarding STEM/STEAM educators is limited.

A study conducted by Natalia Spyropoulou, Phd Candidate and Prof.  Achilles Kameas from the Hellenic Open University (HOU), partner of the XENIA project, investigated educators’ perceptions about the role of a STE(A)M educator, along with the challenges and the professional development needs.  Drawing on an online survey, based on specially designed close-ended and open-ended questions, the researchers analyzed the educators’ views in order to understand critical factors and to provide more insight regarding the successful preparation of STE(A)M educators. Additionally, they investigated the association between gender status and their perceptions. The sample of this research includes 59 educators (26 females, 33 males), who have been involved in the implementation of STE(A)M educational programs in Greece.

The results of this study concerning challenges and difficulties did not confirm a significant difference with respect to participants’ gender. However, some differences are identified between professional development needs. For example, a higher percentage of female educators (42.3%) required professional development in the topic “Engineering for Education” than male educators (33.3%). Regarding participants’ perception about the role of STE(A)M educator, the results identified gender differences in the Teaching and Learning (TEL) competences’ category, indicating that females find more important educators competences that are related to the teaching and learning than males responders.

More info and relevant publications about this study can be found here.

XENIA Erasmus+ Project will develop and test an innovative tool that will support Europe’s Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in evaluating their level of inclusiveness for students, and furthermore staff and teachers, with a target to achieve a more open and safe society for gender and sexual minorities.


Research results of a study conducted by the University of Naples “Federico II”, a partner of DAISSy in the transnational project XENIA: HE Inclusiveness Index


xenia-logo«How do you feel in your campus?» Evidence from a sample of Italian University students

Usually students from sexual minorities describe Higher Education contexts as unwelcoming and chilly environments, compared with their counterparts. These disparities in climate perceptions, often, lead to negative health and academic discomfort.

However, up to now, researchescollecting the experience of sexual minority students within European Higher Education Institutions is limited.

A group of researchers from the University of Naples “Federico II” (Italy), led by Dr. Amodeo,sought to expand previous empirical evidence by investigating the associations between sexual minority status, students’ perceptions of campus climate, psychological (i.e., anxiety–depression)and academic outcomes (i.e., intellectual and academic success, and considering leaving the university) in a sample of 868 Italian university students (17.9% sexual minority students).

The results (available here) showed that sexual minority students reported more negative perceptions of campus climate, which, in turn, were associated with higher levels of anxiety–depression symptoms, lowered academic success, and a high probability of considering leaving university.

Further research is needed to investigate the experience of sexual minority students within European Higher Education contexts and to explore possible actions that could contribute to fostering a greater sense of belonging to the campus community for all students, and particularly for students from sexual minority groups.

The three-years Erasmus+ project “XENIA: HE Inclusiveness Index” accepted the challenge to support Higher Education Institutions in promoting and implementing actions to contrast and prevent discrimination against gender and sexual marginalized identities. Capitalizing on the expertise of researchers and experts from 5 European Countries (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, and Spain), XENIA will develop an operational tool – the XENIA Index – to support HEIs to measure, realise and value the relevance and efficacy of their diversity and inclusion policies and programmes.

To view the original post, follow the link.




XENIA project at university of Barcelona in the context of “ENTRE GRIEGAS” workshop

xenia-logoIn the framework of XENIA Erasmus+ Project the University of Barcelona, one of the partner involved in the transnational project’s consortium held the workshop ‘Entre Griegas’ promoted within the Community Psychology course of Psychology studies by the University of Barcelona last 27th November 2020.

Using methods taken from the theatre of the oppressed and theatre for life, the workshop had the objective of investigating how to expand, multiply and bring together the cracks or breaks in the system of domination of the cis-hetero-patriarchal-monogamous-capitalist-euro-white in the context of the Faculty of Psychology.

35 students took part in this workshop that has been developed during 3 classes for a total of 6 hours, facilitated by Noé (collective of Las Precarias) together with Professors Dr. Moisés Carmona and Ruben David Fernández.

The “Entre Grietas” Workshop is part of a set of actions promoted by the University of Barcelona’s Research Group on Interaction and Social Change to disseminate XENIA project and to penetrate Xenia impacts in the University context.

The aim and objectives of XENIA project are to develop and implement an inclusiveness index to support inclusion, equality and diversity in European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Specifically, an algorithm matrix based will measure the level of social and educational inclusiveness of sexual minority and gender marginalised students and staff within the HEIs context. The project will also share practices and tools for promoting and improving equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

To view the original post  here .


XENIA consortium launches a message against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

xenia-logoXENIA international consortium commemorates two days dedicated to the fight against gender-based violence worldwide. Annually November celebrates the TDoR – Transgender Day of Remembrance on day 20th to memorialize transgender people who have been murdered and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25th.

Are these two days united by a common thread? First of all, which women are included (or excluded) in actions to prevent and combat gender-based violence?

Let’s take into consideration the word TRANS. It is not a noun, but an adjective. So when we talk about women, in the same way we should talk about white women and women of colour, skilled and disabled women, so we also should talk about cisgender and transgender women.

In official statistics on GBV the gender variable is always expressed in the “male” and “female” modalities, but transgender and non-binary people are invisible.

The Erasmus+ XENIA project with its 7 partners from 5 different European countries commemorates all the victims and survivors of misogynistic and transphobic gender-based violence and stresses the common matrix of these two expressions of violence found in the male chauvinist, genderist and patriarchal culture.

XENIA believes that educational tools are crucial to prevent gender-based violence and to promote a culture respectful of diversity. And it also supports the importance of producing scientific knowledge and empirical evidence on the topic, in order to advocate and give tools to policy makers for the creation of inclusive anti-violence policies.

See the official announcement at XENIA website.


To κανάλι Youtube του ευρωπαϊκού έργου XENIA είναι εδώ!

xenia-logoΣτον ακόλουθο σύνδεσμο μπορείτε να δείτε, να πλοηγηθείτε και να ακολουθήστε το κανάλι Youtube του έργου ΧΕΝΙΑ: HEIs Inclusiveness Index:

Το @XENIA συγχρηματοδοτείται από το Πρόγραμμα #Erasmus+ της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης (#ΕΕ), (Key Action 3), και υλοποιείται στην Ελλάδα από την Ερευνητική Ομάδα DAISSy του Ελληνικού Ανοικτού Πανεπιστημίου (ΕΑΠ).

Κύριος στόχος του έργου είναι  να αναπτύξει ένα καινοτόμο εργαλείο το οποίο θα υποστηρίξει τα Ευρωπαϊκά Ανώτατα Εκπαιδευτικά Ιδρύματα (HEIs):

  • α. στην αξιολόγηση του πραγματικού επιπέδου συμπεριληπτικότητας τους, και
  • β. στον προσδιορισμό των προσπαθειών που μπορούν να καταβληθούν τόσο για την καλύτερη προώθηση των αναγκών περιθωριοποιημένων λόγω σεξουαλικής προτίμησης ή/και ταυτότητας φύλου ατόμων/ομάδων, όσο και στην εξασφάλιση της προστασίας των θεμελιωδών δικαιωμάτων και των ακαδημαϊκών ευκαιριών των ατόμων/ομάδων αυτών.

Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες σχετικά με το έργο XENIA και άλλες δράσεις της Ερευνητικής Ομάδας DAISSy του ΕΑΠ:


XENIA Final Report on the Common Research Methodology for Equality in Higher Education Institutions is now available online

xenia-logoThe Work Package 1 (WP1) results’ and its abstract, the first phase of XENIA Erasmus+ project, are now available online. DAISSy Research Group of the Hellenic Open University (HOU), the Greek partner, has contributed to all WP1 stages and outputs.

XENIA is an ambitious 36-month-lasting Erasmus+ project that is being implemented by a consortium of 7 partners from 5 European countries (Italy, Greece, Ireland, Slovenia, Spain). The aim and objectives of this project are to develop and implement an Inclusiveness Index to support Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Specifically, an algorithm matrix based will measure the level of social and educational inclusiveness of sexual minority and gender marginalised students and staff within the HEIs context. The project will also share practices and tools for promoting and improving equality, diversity and inclusion. All the intellectual outputs will be available in five (5) languages, namely English, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Slovenian.

The primary aim of WP1 has been the development of a Common Research Methodology which has guided the work and contributions of all XENIA partners for this Work Package. The key activities underpinning this common research methodology were: the identification and classification of HEIs into five (5) relevant and appropriate thematic areas; the development of 64 indicators that signify inclusion of gender diverse and LGBTQ+ students and staff, categorised into subsections under one of the thematic areas and the development of tools and resources for promoting inclusion across HEIs.

The WP1 report describes in detail each step in the development of the specific work package by the consortium from January to July 2020. All materials are completely free and accessible on this link: https://xeniaindex.eu/mapping.php.

For more information on @XENIA and other DAISSy activities:

XENIA Meeting Pic

DAISSy participated at the second Steering Committee meeting of the european project XENIA

XENIA Meeting Pic

On Thursday, August 27th, XENIA: HEIs Inclusiveness Index project partners met to start preparing one of the most important tasks of the project: the definition of the key elements for assessing the Inclusiveness levels of Higher Education Institutions in Europe. This work package will be Coordinated by SInAPSI-University of Naples “Federico II”.

We look forward to share the progress and milestones of the project.

Stay tuned for further details -> www.xeniaindex.eu

For more information on XENIA and other DAISSy activities:
Website    : http://daissy.eap.gr
Instagram: @daissy_researchgroup
Email        : info@daissy.eap.gr

XENIA Consortium takes part into the first European Pride after covid-lockdown

xenia-logoOn June 27th the first European Pride after lockdown was held in Naples. The Neapolitan Flash Mob Pride 2020 was dedicated to Sarah Hegazi, a lesbian and atheist Egyptian woman, who committed suicide in Canada where she had asked for asylum for her sexual orientation on June 14.

In Naples, in a LGBTI+ coloured Piazza Plebiscito, the rainbow flags were raised in memory of Sarah and all asylum seekers and LGBTI+ refugees and activists that have been arrested, tortured and killed by lesbian-homo-bi-transphobia. XENIA Project International Consortium joined the event symbolically raising a ‘digital’ flag on social media to remember Sarah.

XENIA Project, co-financed by the European Commission, fully joined the initiative that reflects the main objective of the work carried out by the consortium of 7 international partners from all over Europe: to be more welcoming and respectful of sexual minorities and marginalized groups, with the aim of supporting the complexity of the identity of all the people in the world and ensure the protection of their fundamental rights and opportunities.

In October 2017 Sarah and a friend of hers raised a rainbow flag at the concert of Mashrou Leila, a famous Lebanese band whose singer is openly gay. For this reason, they were both arrested. During the months in prison, Sarah suffered physical and psychological violence. Once released, Sarah continued to be offended for being lesbian and atheist.

For that she decided to leave her homeland and apply for international protection in Canada, where she continued to advocate and request the release of other LGBTI+ activists in her country. After struggling with all her might, Sarah Hegazi committed suicide in June 13, 2020 in Toronto.

For more information regarding XENIA project and/ or more news of the DAISSy Research Group:


“XENIA: HΕ Inclusiveness Index” on the International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbian, Biphobia and Transphobia

xenia-logoThe International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbian, Biphobia and Transphobia (or IDAHOBIT, an acronym for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) is an event recognized by the European Union and the United Nations that has been celebrated since 2004, on May 17 of each year.

The objective of the day is to promote and coordinate international awareness and prevention events to combat the phenomenon of homophobia-bi-transphobia.

May 17 is a highly significant date for the LGBT+ community, because on May 17, 1990 the WHO (World Health Organization) removed homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses in the International Classification of Diseases. Thirty years after this day, the Xenia Erasmus+ project has carried out a social awareness campaign, asking individuals, associations and organizations that want to support the fight against homophobia-bi-transphobia to share a photo or video on their social channels with the hashtag #XENIAagainstHomoBiTransphobia.

It has been a great success for XENIA, reaching about 1.800 people on Facebook in a week, with more than ten countries participating. Vladimir Luxuria, the first transsexual woman to be a member of the parliament of a European state, also joined the social campaign promoted by the Xenia project. Her video has reached about 11.000 people.

XENIA is implemented by a Consortium of 7 Partners from 5 European countries: Italy, Ireland, Slovenia, Greece – DAISSy Research Group of the Hellenic Open University (HOU) – and Spain.

The project will develop an innovative and integrated tool that will support European Higher Education Institutions -HEIs- in evaluating the actual level of inclusiveness of their environment and in identifying any efforts that can be placed to best address the needs of sexual and gender marginalized groups and ensure the protection of their fundamental rights and academic opportunities.

For more information regarding XENIA project and/or more news of the DAISSy Research Group: