The University of Nairobi has taken a bold step towards gender equity by establishing a Gender mainstreaming section and appointing Dr. Grace N. Kiringa as its head. The appointment, made by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama, comes as a clear indication of the university's commitment to promoting gender equality among its faculties, staff, and students.
Dr. Kiringa, who is the Ag. Director of Planning and Performance management, will lead the Gender Mainstreaming Section for a period of three years. Her appointment comes at a time when the University is making significant strides towards tackling gender-related issues. Gender Mainstreaming, which is the consistent integration of gender concerns into policies, plans, programs, activities, and projects at all levels, has been a top priority for the University and as such significant progress in addressing gender disparities has achieved progressively.
The University of Nairobi has also created various projects aimed at combating gender inequality, Gender-based violence prevention, and Women's leadership and empowerment. These initiatives have helped to prevent gender-based violence among staff and students.
The Gender Mainstreaming Section, under Dr. Kiringa's leadership, will continue to raise gender awareness in the University, promote gender- sensitive and inclusive environments, improve gender parity in student enrollment and performance, and promote gender equality in staff recruitment, training, and promotion. The Section will also undertake the training of trainers in gender analysis skills.
In addition to the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, the University of Nairobi has also taken steps to combat gender-based violence through the establishment of the Gender Desk at the University Health Service. The Gender Desk, which was launched in Dec 1st 2022 provides the University community a safe haven to anonymously report cases of Gender based violence, rape and any other form of abuse and receive immediate clinical and psychological care.
Moreover, the University of Nairobi recently approved a Gender and Development Policy that seeks to ensure gender equity in all aspects of the institution's operations. The policy, which was developed in consultation with stakeholders, aims to promote equal opportunities for all genders, eradicate discrimination, and provide a safe and conducive environment for learning and work.
The Gender and Development Policy outlines several measures, including the establishment of a Gender and Development Committee and the integration of gender perspectives in all university activities. The policy also seeks to improve the representation of women in leadership positions and ensure that gender-based violence is addressed effectively.
Dr. Kiringa's appointment as head of the Gender Mainstreaming Section is a significant step towards the implementation of the Gender and Development Policy, and the University of Nairobi's commitment to promoting gender equity in all aspects of its operations.