Annual Gender and Disability Week Concludes Successfully

The third JKUAT Annual Gender and Disability week was successfully concluded on Friday June 8, 2012 with an address by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga. The event, themed Gender and Disability mainstreaming, was organized by the Directorate of gender to sensitize the JKUAT community on the gender and disability concerns like discrimination and stigmatization.

The event marked with thematic performances involving differentially disabled students was punctuated with inspirational speeches to the physically challenged and updates on the progress of the university in mainstreaming gender and disability.

In her address, the Vice Chancellor underscored the commitment of the university to the global aspiration of providing equal opportunities to all irrespective of their gender or physical orientation.

“Our students with physical challenges are free to enroll in the courses of choice, since, we believe physical impairment does not translate to mental ineptness”, said the Vice Chancellor.

Addressing the participants of the event, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof. Romanus Odhiambo reinforced the Vice Chancellors position by adding that, “affirmative action on disability is already factored in the Joint Admissions Board’s cut off points for university admission”. Prof Odhiambo added that the university is currently working on integrating gender and disability concepts in the curricular to further buttress this year’s theme.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research Production and Extension), Prof. Esther Kahangi encouraged the society to be mindful of the plight of people living with disabilities for the benefit of humanity.

In her speech, the Director Gender- JKUAT chapter, Prof. Rosebella Maranga, underscored the progress of her office in articulating gender issues including the formation of the twin committees of Sexual Harassment and Disability mainstreaming. She however urged the institution to actualize the requisite 5% and 30% disability and gender balances respectively in recruitment.

While giving a keynote address to close the curtains of the event, Mr. Isaac Manyonge of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities thanked the University for its effort to eliminate environmental and social barriers that perpetuate discrimination of persons with disabilities.

“Disability is a club which anyone can join at any time with little warning. Let us be responsive to infrastructural, emotional and ideological needs of persons living with disabilities”, said Mr. Manyonge.

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