By Special Correspondent, CMU
In a move to attain gender parity in different levels on campus, the University of Dar es Salaam has spelled key seven transformative actions for inclusive development.
Speaking during the Women’s International Day celebrations at the University level held on 7th March, 2023 at UDSM, the Deputy Vice Chancellor-Planning, Finance and Administration (PFA), Prof. Bernadeta Killian said that for the past two years, the University had undertaken important strides to attain gender equality.
“So many changes regarding gender equality have taken place here at UDSM since 2021. The University has established an undergraduate degree programme related to gender and community issues, which will be offered from the academic year 2023/2024. We also launched the gender desk in 2022 for creating safe environment that is free from gender-based violence”, said Prof. Killian.
Prof. Killian, who was the guest of honour at this event, said other actions that the University had undertaken in this regard included increasing enrollment of female students to 47 percent while in other bachelor programmes such as Kiswahili and Sociology, the enrollment had reached to more than 70 percent female students.
She further said that the University had reached the aspired gender equality with achieving the objective of 50 percentage women University leaders, that is, principals, deans and directors, at various units namely colleges, schools, institutes and directorates.
“Also, the University has set plans to establish a Child Care Centre, which will be of a very high standard. This Centre will help UDSM members of staff, especially women to concentrate more with their office responsibilities while making sure that their children are taken care of accordingly”, said Prof. Killian.
Prof. Killian added that, in 2021 the University had also reviewed its gender policy 2006 to include new and relevant sections and components that reflected the current circumstances of strengthening gender equality. Issues of Gender Based Violence and Sexual Exploitation Abuse and Harassment are included and directed to be addressed through Gender Desk.
Relatedly, she said that UDSM participated in various activities that involved helping the needy in the society through providing them with some essentials, especially during various celebrations such as on the Women’s International Day every year.
Innovation for women empowerment
Meanwhile, the University of Dar es Salaam Council Chairperson Hon. Ambassador Mwanaidi Maajar emphasized how the use of innovation in the new technology would empower women economically, politically and socially.
“Technology and innovation are catalysts for development and best way to enhance gender equality in financial, health, agriculture, business, education and civil service aspects”, said Amb. Maajar, who presented a paper on technology, innovation and women development during the celebrations at the University of Dar es Salaam Library Hall.
This event, which was celebrated around the Women’s International Day theme “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender equality”, was also attended by the University of Dar es Salaam Vice Chancellor Prof. William Anangisye, Prof. Pendo Malangwa who represented the Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic Prof. Bonaventure Rutinwa, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor-Research Prof. Nelson Boniface, Director of the Gender Institute, Dr. Lulu Mahai, and more than 400 women from and outside UDSM.