The Gender Mainstreaming Office
The University of Ibadan (U.I) is commonly viewed as a gender neutral space in which neither sex is advantaged. Like most Nigerian universities, the Act of U.I. contains a general non-discriminatory clause prohibiting exclusion on account of “ethnic grouping, sex, place of birth or of family origin or religious or political persuasion from studentship, employment or membership of anybody established by the Act” (University of Ibadan Act, 1962) but the institution has no Gender Equity Policy, no Equal Opportunities Policy, no Affirmative Action in respect of gender, and no Sexual Harassment Policy. Until very recently there were only a few gender sensitisation schemes for staff and students (Association of Commonwealth Universities Report, 2004.) and U.I is constituted as an inequitably gendered space with implications for its communities- male and female academics, administrative staff and students.
Until recently, there were few gender gestures such as electing or appointment of one or two females as principal officer, deans, managers and administrators and a few academics, mostly female might incorporate a gender component in research as an “add on” while the business of the institution continues in its gender-blind manner. This prompted the constitution of the gender mainstreaming committee that worked on the development of the Gender Equity Policy and the Sexual Harassment Policy documents of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Nigeria and approved in August, 2012.
The commitment of the University Management to the success of the Gender Mainstreaming programme has been outstanding. Hence the Gender Mainstreaming Programme has made significant progress since its inception in 2007 when the MacArthur Foundation gave a grant for mainstreaming gender into all aspects of the University. The programme was designed to introduce gender mainstreaming process as a core programme in the University of Ibadan so that the institution can apply a gender lens to all aspects of its activities routinely, enable women and men to share resources and power on a fair basis, make and implement policies which will raise up any previously disadvantaged group and resolve any unfair, gender-insensitive practices in a just manner.
The Gender Mainstreaming programme now has its secretariat at the Gender Mainstreaming Office – a temporary space provided by the university management. However prior to these, series of activities were conducted across the university. Activities carried out by the GMP between December 2007 and November 2014 include Formation of Gender Mainstreaming Committee, Gender and Sexual Harassment climate in UI, Review of University Policies, A Gender- Audit, Sensitisation workshops, Appointment of Gender Focal Persons(GFPs) Specilised workshops, Consensus-Building workshops, Peer Educator’s Workshop, Appointment of a new Principal Investigator, Acquisition of Office space, Renovation of Office Space, Purchase of office equipment, Regular interaction through the social media network (e.g. facebook, twitter)
Gender Policy Vision
To be a world class university where gender equity is institutionalized, and students and staff integrate gender friendly perspectives into personal and professional dealings in achieving the aims and goals of the university.
To expand the frontiers of knowledge by cultivating a gender sensitive space for learning and research.
To contribute to the transformation of society by actively promoting and advocating gender equity.
To produce graduates equipped with attitudes and skills to facilitate gender balanced perspectives for global development.
To be a socially engaged institution with high profile impact on gender issues.
Train Students to understand the concept of gender and sex;
Help students develop the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and skills required to be gender sensitive and to engage in appropriate behaviour;
Equip students with the knowledge and skills to monitor compliance with the gender and sexual harassment policies of the University;
Publicise and enforce the University’s Sexual Harassment policy which prohibits sexual harassment and such other behaviours that violate the dignity of a human being.
Introduce possible medium of addressing issues in a way that will enhance gender equity and justice.
Facilitate speedy dispensation of justice by the Student and Staff Disciplinary Committees in respect of gender based violence.
Ensure that the university environment is gender friendly and supportive of women and men and their specific needs and roles.