When adopting regulations, the Faculty of Arts has many times been faced with a dilemma over an article which only addressed women by way of one footnote in the regulations. This was the reason why the senate established a working group which prepared a proposal for the gender-sensitive use of language. All legal documents will have the following written into their introductory articles: "The feminine grammatical gender used in the document refers to any gender. Or: the masculine grammatical gender used in the act refers to any gender."
"Lecturers on PhD programmes can be persons who have a recognised teacher’s title: docentka, izredna profesorica or redna profesorica. Therefore we know that the expression docentka can refer to both men and women. The same goes for the expressions izredna profesorica and redna profesorica," says Marko Stabej, member of the commission and professor in the department of Slovenian studies.
"From a professional perspective, every linguistic development is based on activism. If there had been no activism carried out by numerous Slovene women and men in history, we would not be speaking in the Slovene language here. And many other things would not be here either," added Stabej.
Linguist Kozma Ahačič from the Fran Ramovš Institute of the Slovenian language, expressed his reservations regarding the senate's decision. "Legal documents are the most sensitive and precise part of a language. Prescribing that legal texts should use language which has not been properly thought through and deliberate can have consequences which we are unable to foresee. I think that the intent was good, but the implementation is very bad."
This is not the first attempt to provide guidelines for a gender-sensitive use of language. All legal acts at the Faculty of Social Work in Ljubljana have been written using the feminine grammatical gender for more than 15 years and they say they have not faced any particular obstacles. Guidelines for the gender-sensitive use of language at the faculty were shaped by the members of the Commission for women in science.