- The National Gender and Equality Commission-NGEC has continued with its nationwide campaign to equip these institutions with the relevant skills needed to enhance compliance with gender equality.
Institutions of higher learning have been asked to enable, embrace and ensure gender equality at all levels.
The National Gender and Equality Commission-NGEC has continued with its nationwide campaign to equip these institutions with the relevant skills needed to enhance compliance with gender equality.
On Monday, the commission whose major mandate is to promote and ensure gender equality, principles of equality and non-discrimination for all persons in Kenya, was at the Golf Hotel in Kakamega where they engaged the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology-MMUST officials on the same reason.
Speaking when he presided over a workshop on gender mainstreaming at the institution, the NGEC Western Regional Facilitator Davis Okeyo said such training fosters continuous improvement and learning while enabling the committee to track the progress of gender equality in the University.
Okeyo advocated for and reiterated the need for gender equality at all levels for the disabled, children, marginalized, and the minority to re-enforce the constitutional law of inclusivity.
“We are forging this cooperation to ensure that gender equality is integrated into the rules that govern such institutions, their practice, and procedures. The key is to map strategies for promoting greater gender equality within the institution," said Okeyo.
Okeyo reminded that among others, the role of senior management of the University must include developing gender-related policies on sexual harassment, establishing a functional gender mainstreaming committee and equally planning and budgeting for such programs, projects, and actions.
“They are also to guide the implementation of the gender mainstreaming strategies, programs, and projects and actions and ensure adherence to the same by all staff. They must as well monitor implementation and ensure reporting is done in conformity with the set national guidelines," he said.
He said the workshop was to enable the commission to equip MMUST staff and the institution’s Gender Mainstreaming Committee-GMC members with relevant skills to enhance compliance with gender equality at the institution.
The university chairperson of the GMC John Shiundu said the workshop was geared towards building capacity for relevant, effective, efficient, and sustainable gender mainstreaming in the institution.
He acknowledged that gender parity should be considered in the fields of research, governance as well as departments while at the same time emphasising the need for more efforts to influence the management to strike a balance on the female gender two-third rule in the University.
According to the professor, such workshops are also to introduce the GMC to gender concepts, policies, procedures, and practices as per the regulatory requirements.
“The committee is committed to scaling up and mainstreaming practices in gender management in terms of decision-making; creating linkages with other institutions enrolled in gender to promote equity and mainstreaming of gender," said Shiundu.
The MMUST Director of Privately Sponsored Students Programmes (PSSP), Benedict Alala, noted that it is important to equip members with strong advocacy as well as sensitization knowledge and skills in gender parity.
He challenged the committee to prove to the University why they embrace gender equality.
“As a division of research, there is a need for integrating gender in research and our policies, ensure equality in service delivery, and establish gender balance at all levels in the University,” said Prof. Alala.
The university coordinator for AIDS Control, Gender and Disability Mainstreaming Unit Gladys Mengich emphasized the need for all teams to be well balanced and called on university management to find mechanisms to balance gender in all aspects.
She advocated for partnerships in the area of gender balance and assured an improvement in the performance of the committee.
“This is a timely venture that aims to build the skills and knowledge of participants in mainstreaming gender. It is also an opportunity to operationalize its commitment to gender as a cross-cutting issue,” said Mengich.