College of Education and External Studies staff were on 19 March 2012 tasked to integrate gender sensitivity in all activities including planning and budgeting. This was during a one day Gender Planning and Budgeting workshop organised by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD) at the MACE Board Room, SODLL.
The aim of the workshop was to strengthen staff skills in mainstreaming gender in their work plans of action, integrating gender into budgeting processes, monitoring and evaluation of the progress of these activities. GMD works with colleges to disseminate the University commitment on promoting gender equality such as the policy and regulations on sexual harassment and the Makerere University gender equality policy.
Senior Gender Officer GMD, Mr Eric Tumwesigye informed participants that Gender Planning and Budgeting (GPB) takes into account the different needs and interests of males and females in allocation of resources. He noted that GPB reduces loses to the college in terms of productivity, quality of labour force and growth. The full participation of all persons would ensure increased output and ownership and therefore sustainability of gender quality in university operations.
Mr. Edward Mark Othieno the National Trainer GEB at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development called for ; the need for gender awareness creation, engendering course units, ensuring day care facilities, recruitment policy to target female lecturers, dissemination of policy and regulation on sexual harassment and construction of appropriate sanitary facilities. One of the suggestions that came out of the workshop was a proposal on how the SOE Child study centre could be effectively used to establish day care facilities for University staff.
Examples were given where in some instances gender has not be integrated in planning and budgeting but activities have been carried out such as examinations being taken to expectant student mothers in hospital by the Department of Open and Distance Education and the provision of child care facilities for students who are unable to leave their children at home during examinations by the School of Education.
The workshop was organised by GMD and facilitated by Mr Stephen Kayima College Team Leader Accounts and Ms Vicky Okello in charge of Gender Affairs in the College Registrar’s Officer. In his closing remarks on behalf of the CEES Principal, Dr Paul Muyinda thanked the organisers of the workshop for the informative training and encouraged College units organise planning workshops for staff and called for gender sensitivity in plans and budgeting.
By Sheila Mwebaze Tindi