As of Tuesday, the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) became the first university in Nigeria to implement a gender policy. Speaking at a workshop for stakeholders in Abeokuta at the school premises titled “FUNAAB Gender Responsiveness in Agricultural Research for Improved Institutional Outcomes and Development”, Prof. Petra Saghir, who is the chairperson of the FUNAAB Gender Policy Review Committee, stated that the policy was implemented with the goal of improving institutional outcomes and development. Saghir made clear that institutions that do not consider gender would still use their best workers as a substitute.
She noted the difference between gender sensitivity and women’s empowerment, pointing out that they are both gender-related as well as women’s empowerment initiatives. In a situation where male children require greater focus, focus on them; yet, if it is female children who require assistance, focus on them as well; such programs are gender sensitive. Many males are vocal in their support for women’s rights because they believe that a peaceful home is a prerequisite for their own happiness.
Gender equality should not be taken with levity hand.
In order for all other institutions to gain advantages, FUNAAB is in a very strategic and central location. Building up the institutional capacity to address these policy issues is something that can be done. She explained further that one should not be nonchalant when it comes to gender because, if they are not careful, they are going to inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings or do something that regular people may not be able to comprehend.
Moreover, Professor Olusola Kehinde, the acting Vice Chancellor of the Institution, stated in his remarks that the institution continues to be a leader in the sector in terms of gender equity. In addition, Prof. Kehinde mentioned that the organization had a long history of promoting initiatives to increase the number of women holding leadership positions. He mentioned that the organization had been recognized as gender friendly and that there was a zero-tolerance policy in place for sexual harassment and violence based on gender.
People should be gender-responsive to achieve transformative development.
According to the university’s acting vice chancellor, it is essential for the community of the university to be empowered and engaged in order to be gender-responsive in research, learning, and character, as well as community engagement in order to achieve transformative development. This will make it possible for the university to consistently be at the front in leading inclusive practices, ensuring that the university is in a good position to respond to arising gender equity challenges for the benefit of overall progress and development.
The Gender Policies, which provide the system that will ensure that the institution is guided by the principles of equal opportunity, respect, and inclusion, have been introduced by the Gender Document Committee, he said. Additionally, the policy stated that each and every member of the university had a duty to make an effort to create a fair working and educational environment. The university values the relationships that have developed since 2008 between African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and their great university.
Strong leadership is needed to achieve priority in Agriculture.
Through Zoom, a consultant from Uganda on agricultural research and development, Mrs. Monica Kapiriri, contributed to the discussion as well. She said that in order to produce training, research, and extension output that is intended to address the priorities of a variety of men and women in the agricultural sector, there needs to be strong leadership. The Gender Policy Review Committee chairperson, Saghir, added that gender equality, equity, and justice should be promoted at all times, so the same opportunities given to a male should also be given to a female.