Equal rights, equal respect
Following a motion by the president’s office supported by the MHB student initiative for gender equality and the equality commissioner, the MHB passed guidelines on gender-neutral language in yesterday’s meeting as a further step towards gender equality.
MHB president Prof. Edmund Neugebauer underlines that, due to the general obligation of physicians to offer the same degree of medical or therapeutic care for everybody, the Brandenburg Medical School firmly rejects any forms of discrimination and racism. “As an academic institution, we have additional social responsibilities and the duty to set an example and support diversity and gender equality so that everybody in our society enjoys the same rights and the same degree of respect independent of gender, origin, colour, creed or sexual preference. At the MHB - as elsewhere - there is still room for improvement.”
Medical students from the equality initiative - Jan M. Auswitz, Fiona Eichhorn, Hannah Mundry and Theresa Stooß - add: “The guidelines for gender-neutral language refer to the MHB mission statement: it expresses the objective of supporting those who strive to challenge prejudices and role patterns and to reconcile diverging interests, and this includes the traditional roles of men and women. Gender-neutral language helps to break up such culturally influenced standards because it respects persons who do not feel included in the collective masculine form, and it gives them space in language and society. This is of key importance for health professions in practice, theory and research and has a strong impact on obstacles existing in the job market. The new guidelines are an important component of the MHB equality concept and a deliberate choice of active participation in the current social shifts in language and culture.”
For some time now the MHB has been using gender-neutral terms and expressions and the so called gender star (*) in public communications. The passing of the guidelines has now made the application of gender-neutral language obligatory in official MHB forms and documents. This requires a continuous process of implementation. In accordance with this concept, a new university logo has been designed with the State of Brandenburg presented in rainbow colours.
On this page you will soon find the MHB guidelines on gender-neutral language.