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Committee on Gender Equity presents the report to Mak staff and students for validation

  • In General
  • 25 Apr 2019 - 9:01am
  • By Proscovia Nabatte
  • 1,875
The Dean, School of Public Health and Chairperson Select Committe on Gender Equity at Mak Prof. Rhodah Wanyenze presenting the Gender Equity Report at a stakeholders validation meeting in Main Hall on 17th April 2019.

On 4th December 2018, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe constituted a five Member Select Committee on Gender Equity (SCGE) to review the Makerere University gender mainstreaming policies and practices together with their effectiveness across all units. Chaired by Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze, the Dean School of Public Health the Committee was also responsible for;

  1. Formulating a gender Equality standard/matrix with the implementation plan applicable across all units so as to actively encourage women’s full and equal   participation in university life
  2. Hold consultative meetings with in the University for review on policy and practice;
  3. Provide feedback and recommendation to management on gender equity implications of suggested polies, plans and services;
  4. Formulate a draft policy document with strategic guidelines that will be recommended to Makerere University Council for approval.

Members of the Committee included; Associate Professor Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Kizito Maria, Dr. Zahara Nampewo. Dr. Gilbert Gumoshabe, Dr.  Euzobia Mugisha Baine and the Secretariat; Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Suzan Mbabazi, and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.

Some of the Committe and members of the Secretariat during the validation meeting.

On 18th May 2018, the Select Committee on Gender Equity presented its report to Administrative and Academic staff and students for validation. The report provided preliminary findings of the Committee on Gender Equity at Makerere University, cited the strengths and gaps in some of the policies that govern the institution and suggested recommendations.

In a presentation she made on the Review of Gender Equity and Participation of Women across various Levels in Makerere University, Professor Rhoda Wanyenze, said that although there is a fair female representation in the lower ranks of academic and non-teaching units, the representation of women at high levels is minimal. The report also indicates a meagre participation of women in the University activities across all units.

This was attributed to the various challenges that women face among which are societal, biological construction of gender, and attitude stood out.

“The biological roles such as motherhood has left women with no option. The society has built women and men differently.  women are supposed to be simple, soft and submissive while men are supposed to be aggressive and radical. The society has built a man to rule and head hence dominating the leadership role. This has greatly impacted the leadership development of women in communities,” she said.

According to Professor Rhoda Wanyenze, there are critical competencies that the University Leadership should consider when employing and promoting all categories of its staff.

“Despite the many other traits such as the organization awareness, self-orientation, achievement orientation, trustworthiness, team work and collaboration, change catalyst, and crisis management among others that women exhibit, they are still, gaged on self-confidence, accurate self-assessment, emotional control and adaptability,” she said.

From R-L,  Director of Estates and Works Department- Eng. Christina Kakeeto, University Librarian-Dr. Helen Byamugisha, Dean of Students-Mr. Cyriaco Kabagambe and Head, Department of Performing Arts-Dr. Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza.

“We do not need any additional points for women but rather we have to redefine the criteria by broadening it to include the other competences because women are gifted people with critical leadership competences. When women are brought on board, they are not being helped, but it is the institution being helped the” she added.

Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze informed staff and students that the Makerere University Gender Equity Policy is fairly comprehensive but lacking in explicit targets and interventions to advance gender equity. The Policy has limited strategic information and tracking of progress.  

“To narrow down the current existing Gender Equity gap, there is need for increasing the proportion of women at Makererere University from 29% to 40% over the next 10 years, especially in the Units with the worst ratios. The University should also consider increasing the representation of women at the highest academic ranks (Professor and Associate Professor) from 19% to 40%; in administrative positions; Principals and Deans, from 10% to at least 30% and apply the same percentage to the Top 3 positions in the University over the next 10 years, said Dr. Zahara Nampewo- Member of the Select Committee on Gender Equity.

In its recommendations, the Select Committee on Gender Equity proposed the review of the respective existing policies and adjustment of the systems/structures that support Gender Equity with in Makerere University.

The report also indicates a meagre participation of women in the University activities across all units.

The Committee suggested a thorough revision of the existing Makerere University Gender Equity Policy to include the targets and implementations arrangements.

According to the report, there is need to align the University policies such as the Human Resource Policy to reflect gender equity aspects.

The University should revise its advertisement package for jobs, courses and review the recruitment processes, and promotions.

Other recommendations included;

  • Institute gender equitable staff development and mentorship across all Units including GMD
  • Institute gender equitable performance incentives and recognition for all categories of staff
  • Strengthen and fully document recruitment procedures for administrative positions to enhance objectivity, transparency and confidence among prospective candidates
  • Include gender equity targets in key documents such as the University Strategic Plan for 2020-2030
  • Strengthen M&E: Development/adaptation of a gender mainstreaming scorecard
  • Track progress overall and across Units and periodically highlight progress in key University documents: annual report, mention at events etc.
  • Track staff entry, retention and attrition by gender
  • Develop and implement a gender focused research agenda
  • Enhance funding of the GMD to directly manage allocated funds
  • Include gender officer/s to coordinate gender mainstreaming activities across Units
  • Strengthen Monitoring and Evaluation Development/adaptation of a gender mainstreaming scorecard
  • Track progress overall and across Units and periodically highlight progress in key University documents: annual report, mention at events etc.
  • Track staff entry, retention and attrition by gender
  • Develop and implement a gender focused research agenda
  • Operationalize the GMD staff structure in order to
  • Recruit additional Gender Officers to coordinate gender mainstreaming activities across all University Units

The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, revealed the University’s move to improve the working environment for its female staff.  Prof. Nawangwe also said that Makerere University is encouraging women to engage in science based (STEM) disciplines, a space that has for long been dominated by men at Makerere University.

“We are attracting female staff and students to science based disciplines (STEM).  we are sensitizing female students on the benefits and importance of pursuing science based subjects. In the same spirit we are supporting our female staff who are teaching and carrying out research in sciences.  Makerere University is recognizing the tremendous role of women in this world. We have nurtured some of the prominent and renowned ladies across all sectors of development,” he remarked.

The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe making  remarks.

He commended the great work done by the Committee and appreciated the support from the University Management to ensure that the job is thoroughly done.

The Director of Gender Mainstreaming Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine thanked Management, staff, students and other stakeholders for supporting the Committee to ensure that it finalizes its work on time.  She acknowledged the tremendous role of respondents during the review process. “I appreciate your cooperation and the information you provided that made our work easier,” she said.

The Select Committee on Gender Equity (SCGE) will submit its final Report to the University Management 30th April, 2019, revise the Makerere University Gender Equality Policy on 30th June, 2019 finalize the implementation matrix/plan on July 31st, 2019.

Article by Nabatte Proscovia and Gender Mainstreaming Directorate

 

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