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The Malawi University of Science and Technology has finalised production of its Gender Mainstreaming Policy and on September 22, it oriented its managers on the policy so that they can in turn orient their subordinates.
Speaking when he opened the orientation workshop in Mulanje, Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Jonathan Makuwira described the policy as relevant in this day and age when inclusivity is the catch-word.
“I am happy that ours is a gender mainstreaming policy, meaning that we will be integrating issues of gender in all our activities and programmes and not implementing gender as isolated activities,” said Professor Makuwira.
“Already, as an institution we have a heavily skewed gender imbalance with females glaringly disadvantaged. This has to change and this policy is the answer.”
Professor Makuwira also reiterated that MUST is interested in partnering with various institutions and organisations in different areas of national development and academic excellence.
He therefore appealed for more support towards implementation of the MUST gender mainstreaming policy.
The policy, according to MUST communications manager James Mphande who presented the document during the orientation, has been under development since 2015.
“We started with situation analysis of the institution and then did consultations with key stakeholders, including experts from various ministries. Within MUST, the taskforce that developed the policy also sought views and inputs from critical staff and we believe that the end product is representative of our needs and has the right strategies to bring the desired outputs,” said Mphande.
Also making presentations on the day were officials from Ministry responsible for Gender.
The MUST Gender Mainstreaming policy has six pillars of conducive environment; management and governance; teaching and learning, research and training; admissions, recruitment and service delivery; capacity building, and collaborations.
Under each pillar are various strategies that will be followed for the period 2017-2022 to achieve the desired goals.
The managers’ orientation was the first activity under implementation and will be followed by student orientations, production of copies of the policy booklet, production of posters to spread gender messages.
The policy was developed with technical support from Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare and financial support from UNDP.