Organization: University of Addis Ababa
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Gender Mainstreaming and It’s Potential for Women’s Empowerment: A Case Study of Addis Ababa University
International development buzzword “gender-mainstreaming” calls for a deeper examination into the nature of policymaking and calls into question its potential for achieving women’s empowerment. This study demonstrates the complexities in achieving empowerment by addressing the everyday experiences of students and faculty. The main argument of this MRP is that gender relations permeate into the life of the university: through behaviours, opportunities provided and perceived performance. Policies are not immune to the nature and dynamics of socially constructed gender relations. Furthermore, the findings point to the lack of efficiency in ‘technical’ fixes that time and time again failed in the past. Therefore, gender mainstreaming policies alone, cannot be said to promote gender inequality. Rather increased participation, collaboration and consultation with both women and men are key ingredients towards favourable outcomes. Put together, gender mainstreaming can be a useful tool for gender and development scholars, practitioners and experts. Addis Ababa University has made great strides towards bringing awareness for the need of gender equality and empowerment in order to increase the representation of women in higher education. However, more needs to be done to tackle everyday nuances that are not apparent through policy reform.