Developing Road map to Gender Equality, Consultative Training Conducted


College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) in collaboration with Dire Dawa University  (DDU), Jigjiga University (JJU) and Maastricht School of Management (MSM) conducted a three  days consultative training on developing a road map to gender equality. The training took place  from January 25-27, 2018.

According to Mrs. Mulu Berhanu, Assistant Professor at the College and coordinator of    Tailor Made Training  (TMT)  funded by Netherlands Fellowship Program ( NFP),the training was part of the project funded by the Netherlands Fellowship  Programme: “Gender mainstreaming and women empowerment in Eastern Ethiopia: a coordinated approach”.

An important aspect of the gender programs in the country is the mainstreaming of gender in the development process. Haramaya, Dire Dawa and Jigjiga universities are the three universities expected to address development related issues in the eastern part of Ethiopia. Hence, the universities need to play exemplary roles as pertinent drivers of gender equality in the region. So far, each university has been taking initiatives to address gender equality issues within their respective universities and among the surrounding communities.

However, the initiatives lacked coordination and desired results have not been achieved. The assessments on the prevailing gender situations within these universities and the surrounding communities show that there are clear indicators of gender inequalities and related problems. Some of these indicators are the feminization of poverty in the community, lack of gender balance in opportunities, under representation of women in leadership and higher academic rank and gender-based violence. Some of these are attributed to lack of coordinated efforts and standard guidelines, lack of awareness and resistance, and key leadership positions are not targeted.

With this background, the College in collaboration with the universities planned to create coordinated effort toward gender equality within the universities and community of eastern Ethiopia. These efforts have got acceptance and were supported financially by The Netherlands Fellowship Programme and Maastricht School of Management.

The training had three main objectives: to share best experiences toward gender equality; to identify challenges to address gender equality in teaching and learning, research and technology transfer; and community engagement activities.

There were about 70 participants involved in the training with middle level management, senior and junior female staff, and female students of the three universities as well as representatives from government and non-government sectors of Dire Dawa City Administration, Haramaya District, Harari Region, and Somali Region. Education Bureaus, Micro and Small Enterprises, Women and Children Affairs Bureau, city administrations, and law enforcements have also attended the training.

Dr. Adinew Tadesse, CSSH Dean, made a welcome speech and stressed the benefit of addressing gender-related issues to bring sustainable development in the country.

Prof. Niguisse Decahasa, Vice-president for Academic Affairs,said “Achieving the national and international development goals is hardly possible without the effective involvement of women in the process.” He also stressed that universities need to have clear and implementable gender equality policies and strategies to ensure gender equality.

The training, in general, had three sections. The first was a plenary session where best practices from the universities and respective regional sectors were shared. Then the participants were divided into three sessions: teaching and learning, research and technology transfer and community engagement.

In the parallel sessions, root causes of gender inequality in education, research and community engagement activities were identified through brainstorming. Then the challenges were analyzed using gender frameworks such as gender tree and deep structure. Finally, participants were assisted in drafting the gender equality road map for eastern Ethiopian universities. The gender trees and draft road maps were displayed in an exhibition so that group members and participants could look through them and share their ideas amongst each other.

The workshop ended with a closing session, where the facilitators shared their experiences related to challenges and good practices during the workshop and the way forward.

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