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GENDER IS the current buzzword,

and many people are trying to

figure out exactly what it means.

Gender is not a woman’s-only

issue. Gender includes all

members of our society because

the fact is that there is not a

single issue that affects women

that does not have a correlating

effect on men. We at the

Institute for Gender and

Development Studies – Regional

Coordinating Unit (IGDS-RCU) of

The UWI seek to provide

inclusive programmes for

women, men, and children to

ensure that there is equality for

all, in all reaches of Jamaican

society.

The UWI is the intellectual

heart of our society, and its

“Triple A Strategy 2017-2022”

aims to make the university

more relevant under its mandate

of Access, Alignment, and Agility

for all. Sir Hilary Beckles, the vice-

chancellor, has positioned the

university as an activist

institution that engages the

community in myriad ways. As a

result, in celebrating the 70th

anniversary this year, The UWI

launched its gender policy in

May 2018, becoming the first

tertiary institution in the

anglophone region to do so.

This gender policy promotes

gender justice and is a call to

action to end sexual harassment,

sexual abuse of girls and boys,

and the marginalisation of youth

and men living in poverty. This

policy is an important paradigm

shift from one of exclusion

based on gender, class, sexual

preference, and numerous other

self-identification labels, to one

of inclusion and respect for

diversity.

MODEL FOR OTHERS

The UWI Gender Policy can

serve as a model for other

institutions, private companies,

non-governmental organisations,

and the Government, locally as

well as regionally, to begin to

investigate and implement

changes that will bring about

equity in both opportunities as

well as salaries for women and

men. As The UWI’s Gender Policy

shares Vision 2030 Jamaica, the

IGDS, as a multidisciplinary,

integrated institution, is

positioned to help guide these

necessary changes.

Jamaica and many other

Caribbean nations have thrown

off the colonial legacy to gain

independence. This journey was

only achieved by a dramatic

perspective shift and a more

inclusive vision. Gender Justice

provides a model. Gender Justice

begins with us thinking and

acting as a family and working

through our differences for the

betterment of the entire society.

Gender Justice begins with a

conversation and our willingness

to listen to one another. It

demands retooling and expanding

our outlook. With a preparedness

to expand our beliefs, we can

accelerate our development as a

society. Gender Justice is about

living in balance.

We Jamaicans have overcome

so many obstacles that have not

served us, and now we are being

called to rise up again. Jamaica

is a power ful nation, and as

such, we have the opportunity

and responsibility to build a

society where Gender Justice is

the norm. That is what we at

IGDS are working towards, and

that is what we are asking you to

do in your homes, workplaces,

and in the wider society so that

we can all live comfortably and

enjoy this tallawah nation that

we love and that has impacted,

and continues to impact, the

world.

|

www.jamaica-gleaner.com

|

UWI AT 70

THE GLEANER, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2018

D10

Lynford Simpson/Contributor

F

OR THE first 35 years of its

existence, The University of

the West Indies (UWI)

enrolled and graduated more

males than females.

That position was reversed in

the 1982-83 academic year, and

since then, the world-famous

university has seen an increasing

number of females being

enrolled and graduating from the

various programmes it offers at

its campuses in Mona, Jamaica; St

Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago;

and Cave Hill, Barbados.

In 1948 when The UWI was

effectively a branch of the

University of London, of the 33

students who were enrolled, 23

were males and 10 were females.

But by 1982-83 when the UWI

welcomed 9,573 students –

4,869 were females compared to

4,704 males.

And last year, almost 70 per

cent of The UWI enrolment were

females.

Dr Leith Dunn, senior lecturer

and head of the Institute for

Gender and Development

Studies on the Mona campus,

says that The UWI has embraced

gender mainstreaming as the

process through which it will

begin to reverse the trend and

ultimately achieve equality of

the sexes in terms of numbers.

A major achievement has been

the approval of The UWI’s Gender

Policy (2017), a commitment

made in The UWI’s Strategic Plan

2012-2017 “to eliminate gender

inequalities at the university and

promote gender equity and

equality”.

Dunn said that gender

mainstreaming is also important

as the university seeks institutional

reaccreditation from the University

Council of Jamaica in 2019.

“The UWI is on the right side of

history as concepts of development

show an increased focus on the

importance of gender analysis and

gender mainstreaming to support

sustainable development,”she said.

30

70

38

62

1948

Total: 33

1960-61

Total: 977

38

62

1970-71

Total: 5,014

51

49

1982-83

Total: 9,573

UWI enrolment based on gender since 1948 (%)

Male Female

57

43

1990-91

Total: 12,629

65

35

2000-01

Total: 19,465

69

31

2010-11

Total: 46,373

68

32

2016-17

Total: 47,591

When males outnumbered females at UWI

UWI enrolment based on gender since 1948 (%)

Male Female

1. Through teaching, research, and outreach, in particular,

at Mona;

2. BSc graduates of the Institute for Gender and

Development Studies (IGDS), Mona Unit, are equipped

to pursue careers as gender analysts and in

development policies, programmes, and research

projects in various sectors;

3. Undergraduate teaching: Through 18 courses

delivered at UWI Mona and the UWI Western Jamaica

Campus (since 2012), between 700 and 1,000

students are exposed annually to gender and

development knowledge and critical analytical skills

to challenge and change gender norms, attitudes,

and behaviours;

4. Development of innovative programmes in

collaboration with the ICT Policy Centre and the School

of Media and Communication;

5. Providing sports scholarships in a bid to increase the

participation of males;

6. Staff of the IGDS, Mona Unit, have offered spaces to

some of the sports students on scholarship;

7. Staff members have provided an enabling environment

for males to matriculate as well as succeed by providing

additional tutoring and counselling pro bono;

8. Through partnerships with high schools;

9. The UWI Gender Society, which comprises students in

the BSc Gender and Development programme, is also

active in public education and advocacy to build

awareness of gender as a tool for analysis and

development.

How gender mainstreaming is addressing gender imbalance:

Prof Opal Palmer Adisa

Gender Justice

An inclusive policy for an independent nation

Sir Sidney Martin

1966-1983

Sir Keith Hunte

1983-2002

Prof Sir Hilary Beckles

2002-2015

Prof V. Eudine Barriteau

2015-Present

PRINCIPALS

(CAVE HILL):

The UWI is the intellectual heart of

our society, and its ‘Triple A Strategy

2017-2022’ aims to make the university

more relevant under its mandate of Access,

Alignment, and Agility for all.

A section of the 2015 UWI, Mona, graduating class.

FILE