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The Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies Office

Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies (IWGDs)

The Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies was established in 1991 as the Centre for Women Studies and Gender Analysis to address the issues that interfered with the pursuit of academic excellence among female students in campus. The Centre was formally launched in May 1992 and placed under the authority of an advisory committee comprising representatives from students, the senate and various faculties. Egerton University later approved the Centre to carry out research, training and outreach programmes, under the Division of Research and Extension. Later the Institute was upgraded to the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies with full mandate to offer academic programmes in Gender and Development Studies in addition to its earlier mandate. After this upgrade, it was placed under the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics Affairs. 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The Institute was constituted with a mission of promoting gender equality by undertaking gender related research, policy advocacy, gender analysis, training, consultancy, documentation and dissemination and to provide expert advice and services on gender and development issues to students and staff of Egerton University and to local and international communities.  The Institute networks with other organizations in advocating for change in laws, policies and systems that continue to sustain gender disparities.

The centre was formally launched in May 1992 and placed under the authority of an advisory committee. Its initial mandate was to respond to demands by undergraduate female students to have unique gender concerns that they grappled with addressed.  The centre was later approved by Egerton University Senate and in the country’s development plan to carry out research, training and outreach programmes, under the Division of Research and Extension.

THE RATIONALE FOR UPGRADING THE CENTRE TO AN INSTITUTE

The Centre has been able to accomplish its objectives to a certain extent.  In May1993, collaboration was developed between the centre and Winrock International’s Africa Women Leaders in Agriculture and Environment (AWLAE)  programme.  The goal of the collaboration was to establish a gender resource centre that would provide materials, information and research grants to improve women’s professional advancement and promote their recognition as agricultural producers.

However, the mission of the centre has not been fully realized due to its status.  Some of the limitations were manifested through various institutions, which prefer collaborate with an institute instead of a centre.  The mission can only be fully achieved by transforming the centre into an institute.

The centre assisted by Winrock International and the British Council organized and inter-university workshop in 1995.  Eight-six participants were drawn from public and private universities, NGOs, churches and government ministries.  It is strongly felt that if the centre was an institute it would have drawn participants and facilitators from both the local and international community.  Although the centre has been facilitating gender-based researchers, many of those undertaking the researchers have not been able to be fully utilized by the centre due to its status.  As an institute it would facilitate the retention of trainees/researches who shall then offer their services to the institute and also diversify gender-based researches.

In 1995, twenty five Egerton University senior staff members from Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Agricultural Education and Human Resources, Computer Science and from the centre, were trained as trainers of trainers (TOTs) on gender issues with support from British Council and Winrock International.  Utilization of the people trained has been very minimal.  This is attributed to the fact that these experts have no opportunities to apply and disseminate/publicise the knowledge acquired.  Upgrading this centre to an institute would therefore provide a platform through which other people can benefit.

 With the creating of the New Ministry of Gender, Culture, the Arts and Heritage, the centre would serve as a training institute for human resource development.

In promoting women participation in the modern economy through training and 

career development, the centre has trained women politicians in modern politics and specifically in campaign management skills.  There is a proposal to launch a school of excellence and campaign strategies in Africa, (a candidate school) a school that would become a referral point for the whole of Africa especially for women politicians.

To promote gender considerations in development planning, the centre used to get funding from Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), for training and sensitizing administrators in all Kenyan public universities to include gender considerations in admission to universities and all levels of management in the university.  As a result Joint Admission Board (JAB) adapted the affirmative action for admission of students at the universities.  However, it is of great concern, that women are still not well represented in most of the decision-making organs.  The director should be part of the resource allocation forums in the university to be able to raise gender awareness among senators and articulate interests of the centre.

As an institute it will be possible it will be possible to attract more funding.  This will make it  possible for the institute to effectively carry out the ongoing outreach and counseling programmes both within and without the campus.

Vision

To become a world class Gender –Based Institution in Research, Training, Consultancy, Advocacy and Outreach for advancement of humanity.

Mission

To eradicate all obstacles to women’s access to education, training, learning and employment opportunities through researching and acknowledging the needs of both women and men in order to achieve substantive gender equality.

Objectives

  • To develop curricula and conduct training programmes for students, staff government and NGO’s who will facilitate integration of gender and development in policy formulation and decision making.
  • To carry out gender related research from a multi-disciplinary perspective and contribute to intellectual development.
  • To engage in outreach programmes and advocacy in gender related issues through public lectures, short courses, seminars, workshops and mass media.
  • To provide consultancy and counseling on gender and development to individuals, researchers and extension officers, decision and policy makers nationally and internationally.
  • To promote gender mainstreaming in the university through curricula, research and career development.
  • To disseminate information on gender and development issues through publications, internet and mass media.
  • To help both men and women recognize, understand and acknowledge their multidimensional roles in society through mass media, public lectures and workshops.

GLOBAL TRENDS

The global trends show that all countries are now incorporating gender equity at all levels.  This is due to the belief that gender equity will result to more efficiency, accountability, transparency, and good governance in society.  Many agencies use gender representations as a criterion for funding.  Without balanced representation, funding can be denied.

THE UNIVERSITY

The university has now become more aggressive and enhanced its means of generating income for its expanded programmes.  This has been evident through the launching of self-sponsored programmes in the university.  The international trends have shown that gender courses are more marketable.  At present, the centre has received many inquiries from all over Africa concerning its training programmes.  By launching these programmes the university would be able to raise more funds for its other programmes too.  The centre, in collaboration with the Faculty of Science is coordinating a programme on launching core courses on HIV/AIDS at Egerton University.

 SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Coffee Hour Social

1. This is a forum for students to identify, discuss, address and propose solution to issues affecting female and male students on campus. The forum incorporates the members of staff with the aim of improving the student-staff relationships on campus.

 Coffee Connection Magazine

1. The publication is used to disseminate the information that is generated from the coffee Hour Social discussions and other Institute functions. It has also been used to train students with the potential of journalism aptitude.

  Gender league Students Outreach Activities

  1. This includes the mentoring project to high school students – The Bash Hour – as well as counseling and referral programmes used to sensitize the university fraternity
  2. The Surrounding community and schools nationwide on Gender issues, on social issues and the importance of embracing education as a equalizing tool for empowerment, Health Environment and Entrepreneurship.

Initiatives

These include legal and referral services

  1. Safe House Baby Day, Care centre.
  2. Gender Round table Forum
  3. Coming to the Table: Transformational Leadership Progrmmes for youth and Women

Male student leadership & Mentorship programme (Adam’s Talk)

This is where male students discuss social issues and help female students in supplying sanitary towels to enable them to stay in University and finish their studies.

Advocacy

1. Gender Awareness Day

2. Gender Mainstreaming

 Policy Formulation/ Affirmative Action

Egerton University endeavors to providing policies that guide training and research in Gender and Development Studies. Currently two (2) policies are in place.

  1. Gender Policy (2011): This Gender Policy was developed and provides a roadmap for the operationalization of the University commitments and it includes a comprehensive seven years Strategic Plan, which will guide the implementation of these commitments by the University.
  2. Policy & Procedures for Gender Based Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention.

This policy endeavors to eliminate sex and Gender- Based violence and creates an enabling environment in the University. It will guide gender equality actions for the University in implementing global commitments on gender equity so as to narrow the gender gap between females and males in view the millennium Development Goals.

Purpose of the Organization

The IWGDs aspires to achieve gender equity, equality and inclusiveness in Egerton University and beyond.

Activities/Programs

The Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies thematic areas are:

  • Gender & Development
  • Gender Empowerment
  • Gender’s Human Rights and Sexuality
  • Gender Reproductive Health Rights
  • Gender Governance and Politics
  • Gender, Peace-building and Leadership
  • Gender Based Violence
  • Gender Poverty & Reduction
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Gender Economic Empowerment and Livelihood
  • Gender and Disabilities
  • Gender Mainstreaming
  • Gender and Education
  • Women, Agriculture and Food Security
  • Gender and Environmental Sustainability
  • Leadership and Mentorship
  • Gender in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics(STEM)
  • Gender and the Workplace
  • Gender and Leadership

The Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies is the first of its kind in Kenya and other national and private universities have modeled their own institutes/school on our model. Over two decades since its inception, the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies has grown into a vibrant institution with a national and international outlook. It has equally become a centre for excellence in teaching, research and advocacy. In executing its mandate, the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies works through a comprehensive strategy that includes teaching, research, publications and dissemination, outreach, mentorship, leadership training, networking, linkages and collaborations, advocacy and gender mainstreaming.

The Institute offers the following academic programmes under the Academic Division.

ADMISSION CRITERIA FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMME

S/NO

Programme

ADMISSION CRITETIA

1

Certificate in Gender, Poverty and Development

Minimum qualification is an aggregate mean of D+ (plus) or its equivalent in K.C.S.E. must have a minimum grade of D (plain) in English or Kiswahili

2

Diploma in Gender, Poverty & Development

Minimum entry requirement is an aggregate mean of C-(minus)  must have a minimum grade of C- (minus) in English or Kiswahili or a certificate from a recognized institution in a related field.

3

Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Women & Development Studies

Applicants must have passed K.C.S.E with a minimum grade of C+ (plus) or its equivalent. Must have a mimum grade of C (plain) in English or Kiswahili or have a diploma “credit” in Gender studies higher in related field.

5

Masters in Gender, Women & Development Studies

Related First degree(upper second) or Lower second with at least two years experience

6

Ph.D in Gender, Women & Development Studies

Related Masters Degree

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