Dr. Nyamu taking to Kericho Campus students
CGEE staff with Kericho campus students
CGEE staff facilitators and students after google digital training
Turkish Ambassador to Kenya Ms Deniz Eke addressing students during Gender week

Inception

Kenyatta University aspires to achieve gender equity, equality and inclusiveness. To this end, the University established the Gender and Affirmative Action Implementation Unit. The Centre was originally established in September 2007. The Unit was upgraded to a Centre in April, 2008. The Center is tasked with mainstreaming gender in the entire Kenyatta University Community through the enforcement of the University Gender Policy and the Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy.
Mainstreaming gender involves bringing into consideration and action, the needs and concerns of all staff and students. This strategy tries to ensure that there is equality and equity in the operations of the University, that the value of every individual is recognized and appreciated, and that, there is a conducive and friendly environment that respects the diversity of staff and students and enables them to achieve their full potential, to contribute fully and to derive maximum benefits and enjoyment from their involvement in the life of the University.
Gender refers to the socially constructed and constantly changing roles, responsibilities and rights of women and men in a given society. Gender are determined by the society and differ from one culture to another and even within the same culture depending on such factors as age, education, exposure and religion among other factors. Sex on the other hand refers to the biological make-up of an individual, which is determined at birth and cannot be changed.
Gender disparities occur due to factors such as cultural differences, social attitudes, and unequal accessibility to productive resources, educational attainment and disproportional participation in decision making at all levels. Because of the differences in gender roles, rights and responsibilities, programs impact differently on women and men. In some cases, programs can benefit one gender while they disadvantage the other. Gender analysis enables possible negative impacts to be detected and corrective measures undertaken. 
To this end Kenyatta University carried out a gender analysis of the education and welfare status on the University and came up with the Gender and The Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harrassment Policies to ensure corrective measures are undertaken.

Rationale
Kenyatta University Strategic and Vision Plan 2005 – 2015 has committed itself to:

  • Enhancing the principle of equal opportunities such that no deserving persons are discriminated against on the basis of gender by strengthening the affirmative action policy.
  • Institutionalizing the principle of gender mainstreaming to ensure that opportunities and benefits are equally accessible to both women and men in all its operations.

Guiding Principles and Assumptions
The Kenyatta University Gender policy is based on the following guiding principles and assumptions:-

  • Gender is a cross-cutting issue and therefore interrogations and interventions should encompass all University functions, systems and processes.
  • Gender issues must be made “visible” lest they become subsumed, neutral or disappear altogether.
  • Although gender mainstreaming will apply in the main, it is important to consider and/or enhance women - specific interventions to redress historical imbalances.
  • Some gender gaps can be filled immediately while others require medium and long-term interventions.

Preamble
The gender mainstreaming concept was born out of the recognition that previous measures to bring about gender equity and equality through the execution of women - specific interventions had not led to any transformation by the end of the 1970’s. The needs, concerns and experiences of both men and women became central from the level of idea formation through planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes. It also became clear that gender mainstreaming had to be institutionalized beyond projects and programmes to include systems, structures and to ensure that all actors and stakeholders recognize and understand this strategy.
The United Nations has been a key actor in the promotion of gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming is one of the priority areas that Kenyatta University strategic vision plan 2005 – 2015 focuses upon. This is due to the fact that despite a number of initiatives that have been put in place to address gender inequality, big gaps exist in the areas of teaching, learning, research, space allocation and students, as well as staff welfare.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 11:19

Philomena Mwaura

Dr Florence K. Nyamu, OGW
Director, Centre for Gender Equity and Empowerment

Contacts

Director, Centre for Gender Equity and Empowerment 
P.O. Box 43844 –00100 GPO
Nairobi, Kenya 
Tel.: +254 20  870 4333
Cisco Extension:
4333
Cell-phone: +254 722488880
Email: director-gender@ku.ac.ke

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