Women’s workforce participation has been steadily increasing all over the world but persistent inequalities and gender dynamics have continued to make them subordinate.
According to Ms. Everlyn Milanoi, the Protection, Gender and Inclusion Senior Officer for International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the patriarchal set up of the society is the root of all inequalities and therefore, there is need to have policies and practical actions to ensure gender equity.
Ms. Milanoi stated that challenging patriarchy in the workplace is not only in line with, but also an essential component of principled humanitarian action geared towards gender equality in the workplace.
Despite the availability of a range of policies and programmes to address gender inequalities, Ms. Milanoi decried the slow implementation of the existing policies saying it continues to deter the realization of gender equality in most institutions in Kenya.
Ms. Milanoi made the observation at a presentation on Gender Mainstreaming and Sexual Harassment in the workplace during the virtual Gender and Disability Mainstreaming Sensitization workshop for Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Departmental Heads organized by the Gender Directorate on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
She urged the departmental heads to start pushing for gender equality by taking note of the often unspoken discriminatory norms and deep structures of inequality and start sensitizing their subordinate staff on the gender, diversity and inclusion policies.
Ms. Milanoi urged the participants to be discreet when dealing with sexual harassment cases in their departments in order to give the victims confidence to report sexual harassment cases.
She added that all students and staff should be subjected to thorough sexual harassment awareness sessions while also ensuring staff members adhere to a clear institutional code of conduct.
The Head of the Gender Directorate, Prof. Wanjiru Wanyoike said JKUAT was committed to increasing the number of students with disabilities, raising the number of employees with disabilities and adhering to gender sensitivity measures.
Prof. Wanyoike stated that Departmental Heads should understand that inclusion is a collective effort by all stakeholders in the University’s quest to realize gender equality.
Light for the World(LTWD) Programme Officer, Jane Waithera made an in depth presentation on Disability Mainstreaming and Inclusion and Service Provision to Persons with Disabilities.
Ms. Waithera took part in a similar sensitization training for Gender and Disability Departmental Coordinators on February 17, 2021. She spoke at length about inclusion and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. For more information follow https://www.jkuat.ac.ke/experts-call-for-enhanced-inclusivity-for-plwds/ .