Adama Science and Technology University (ASTU), like the other public Universities in Ethiopia, accommodate large number of female students. Currently, ASTU enrolled more than 1973 regular female students specializing in different fields of study. Taking the gender friendly national policies and strategies into consideration, the enrolment rate of female students in higher institutions has been rapidly increasing in the last couple of years.
Even if, such initiatives pays due attention to the stated matter, still there are issues that are limiting the educational success of female students. In fact, female students within ASTU, like university students elsewhere in Ethiopia, have gone through series of challenges such as: being away from home, causing both homesickness and new freedoms which students are unable to handle; lack of assertiveness; lack of self-confidence, poor study skill and poor time management fear of failure; violence, financial problems; lack of parental support; lack of interest in the field of study and unfavourable teaching learning environment and so on. These problems, hence contribute to poor academic performance and high rates of attritions.
In addition to students, it needs to empower female staffs in ASTU in all aspects by building their capacity and prevent GBV and sexual harassments that take place in the University. This makes the environment of the university conducive both for students and staffs so that, teaching and learning process will successfully conducted.
Therefore, to resolve the mentioned problems, to improve the achievement of female students, and empowering female students and staffs in the university, a separate office was established in 2003 to address peculiar needs of the university female students and female staffs. Since then, it has been serving as a focal point for the Ministry of Education Gender Directorate. Accordingly, it has been provided a number of services for female and male students and staffs. As part of materializing the university’s aspiration to promote gender equality, the directorate aims to achieve the following mission, vision and objectives, in line with vision, mission and goal of the university.
The vision of Gender Affairs Directorate of ASTU is to empower women and reducing gender disparity in Adama Science and Technology University and in community of Adama city by 2030
The missions of the ASTU’s Gender Affairs Directorate are:
o Promoting gender equality, and bringing social transformation among women in ASTU in order to increase their participation, so that, they can contribute to the development of the country.
o Enhancing the competence of female students in Science and Technology through facilitating different supports and creating conducive environment.
o Providing community services through capacity building trainings on gender related issues, female empowerment, initiating and encouraging female students toward science and technology and awareness creation to rescue adolescents in schools from risky behaviours and drug abuses.
o Gender equality
o Prioritizing in service delivery
o Excellency in service delivery
o Team working
Major Role & Responsibilities of Gender Affairs Directorate
GAD Strives to alleviate challenges affecting academic success of female students and empowering female staffs through the following strategies.
- Provide capacity building trainings for both university staffs and students.
- Provide legal protection from abuse, harassment and violence.
- Provide advice and counselling services.
- Enhance female student’s academic competence by providing them additional tutorial classes.
- Facilitate economic and Material support for needy female and male students.
- Enhance assertive behaviour and self-confidence of students.
- Establish conducive academic environment.
- Awarding high scoring/role model female students
- Promote the participation of women in the overall university endeavours
Conduct gender related researches in the country
- Create network with partners.
- Initiate staffs to participate on researches, seminars/conferences related to gender issues
- Provide day care services for ASTU staffs
Provide awareness raising and life skills training for high school female students.