KISUMU CAMPUS GENDER MAINSTREAMING COMMITTEE CONDUCTS AWARENESS ON UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI GENDER POLICY FOR STAFF AND STUDENTS
On 17th June 2021, the Kisumu Campus Gender Mainstreaming Committee under the leadership of the Chairperson, Dr. Scholastica Omondi who also doubles as the Associate Dean, School of Law, Kisumu in collaboration with the National Gender and Equality Commission, Kisumu and Legal Resources Centre carried out a sensitization workshop for the staff and students of the campus on the University of Nairobi Gender Policy.
In his opening remarks, the Director, Kisumu Campus, Dr. Vincent Machuki thanked the committee and reminded the participants that although gender as a topic has always been misconstrued and termed controversial, we must appreciate the fact that it is also dynamic. He elaborated on the need for sensitization of gender concerns in our work places in view of the fact that these were matters anchored in the Kenya Constitution 2010 and a government requirement to have gender equity and equality in all its institutions. Members of the campus were therefore obliged to talk, live and practise gender mainstreaming for the benefit of all with the understanding that gender mainstreaming is not just physical but psychological.
The training had three facilitators Dr. Scholastica Omondi, Chairperson of the Gender Mainstreaming Committee Kisumu Campus, Mr. Davies Ochieng, Regional Coordinator, National Gender and Equality Commission, Kisumu, Mrs. Agnes Rogo, Legal Resources Centre, Nairobi.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SESSION
Dr. Scholastica Omondi, while giving an overview of the Gender policy for the University of Nairobi highlighted on how the policy was crucial in dealing with gender concerns at the University in decision making, admission, recruitment, training of staff in order to have an environment that was gender sensitive and balanced through the implementation of affirmative action where necessary. She further emphasized on key points such as creation of campus based focal points, complaints procedure where aggrieved or concerned stakeholders could lodge complaints in cases where gender balance was not achieved or gender discrimination was noted and finally the importance of Monitoring and Evaluation of the policy with time to address any gaps or emerging issues/trends.
On his part Mr. Davis Ochieng, the Regional Coordinator of National Gender and Equality Commission, Kisumu, while conducting a session on Gender mainstreaming, defined it as a process of assessing/evaluating the implication on women, men, girls, boys of any planned action. This involves ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities at all levels. The presentation accentuated the importance of gender mainstreaming committees in institutions of higher learning and their need to understand basic concepts of gender. For instance that gender is not women but attitudes and values that are socially determined at a time and place. Culturally derived and learnt behaviour that varies over time and influenced by other socio-economic factors. Capacity building was crucial in order to equip members with skills necessary for creating awareness, lobbying and advocacy. Finally identifying entry points and opportunities for gender mainstreaming and engaging in collaboration with National Gender and Equality Commission and networking with other institutions.
Mrs. Agnes Rogo from Legal Resources Centre illuminated on the Gender Audit in Institutions of Higher Learning by defining the audit as a tool used to inspect how an institution is advancing gender equality by responding to different gender dynamics. This was noteworthy bearing in mind the distinct lives lived by men and women and the fact that they do not enjoy equal rights. That there was need for institutions to exercise gender responsiveness which is, fitting-in gender perspective in all levels of the institution (recruitment, student admission and support programs etc). The consequence of gender audit would be efficiency, equality and social justice, accountability, transparency and equal participation.
On behalf of the Gender Mainstreaming Committee Kisumu Campus, we say thank you to the Director, Dr. Vincent Machuki, Our able facilitators, and all participants for attending the training.
Dr. Scholastica Omondi - Chairperson/Associate Dean, School of Law, Kisumu
Dr. Isaac Abuya - Coordinator, School of Project Management and Continuing Studies, Kisumu
Dr. Wycliffe Kigan - Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, Kisumu
Mrs. Teresia Okumu - Assistant Dean of Students, Kisumu
Ms. Musambayi Margaret - Secretary to the Committee