Roadmap to gender equality


MSM supported three universities in eastern Ethiopia to strengthen gender equality in a coordinated manner.

Gender equality has been acknowledged as a priority in Ethiopia. The Haramaya University (HU), Dire Dawa University (DDU) and Jigjiga University (JJU) in eastern Ethiopia are expected to serve as a role model in promoting gender equality. So far, efforts were undertaken without sufficient coordination and have not yielded the required results yet. To accelerate this coordinated process towards gender equality, the Netherlands Fellowship Program and MSM have supported a three-day training workshop at HU for approximately 70 participants (65% women) from the three universities, from the government and non-government organizations.

During the workshop, the benefits of enhancing gender inequality were emphasized and best practices shared. Moreover, the root causes of gender inequality in education, research and community engagement activities were identified through brainstorming sessions. The challenges and gaps were analyzed and categorized. Based on these data, three facilitators supported the participants to draft a gender equality roadmap for the three universities with specific goals and activities for teaching and learning, research and technology and community engagement. Recommendations in the roadmap included establishing a women empowerment center to capacitate female academic staff, developing entrepreneurial skills for women in the community, and facilitating mentor-mentee relationship. Creating a strong link with elementary and high school to attract female students to natural sciences and technology related fields was also highlighted.

Gender experts will finalize the roadmap. They will elaborate the challenges in management and support processes, the time frame and potential ways forward. Finally, around mid-July 2018, the presidents and vice presidents of the three universities and leaders from the Government and non-government sectors of eastern Ethiopia region are expected to endorse the road map, which opens the way to implementation.