Makerere University commissions Gender Equality Seal Committee

April 28, 2023

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Seated Centre), UNDP officials and members of Makerere University’s Gender Equality Seal Committee.

UNDP Uganda

Makerere University has commissioned a multi-disciplinary Gender Equality Committee to oversee the implementation of the Gender Equality Seal (GES), a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative that seeks to promote gender equality and women empowerment in public institutions. This committee was commissioned by Makerere University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe on 06 April 2023. 

In a bid to promote gender equality, Makerere University became the first public institution to join UNDP’s GES for Public Institutions in October 2022. The initiative supports public institutions to analyse and mainstream gender into their policies and improve their approaches to gender equality and women empowerment. Speaking during the commissioning, Prof. Nawangwe said that over the years, Makerere University has embraced gender mainstreaming and equity initiatives that GES builds on.

“I am glad that Makerere University has been selected to champion the implementation of the Gender Equality Seal certification programme. Our goal should focus on attaining 50/50 gender parity across the board. I urge the team to spearhead the certification process for Makerere University to earn the gold seal, and I thank UNDP for partnering with us,” Prof. Nawangwe said.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

UNDP Uganda

He also emphasized the need for policy improvements and laws that will help in the attainment of gender equality. 

“As a university, it is important for us to do a self-reflection through this exercise and see how we have done and set goals for the future. I hope the exercise will also help make proposals for policy improvements. Countries that have made major progress in that area are guided by laws.”

During the commissioning ceremony, the committee was oriented on UNDP’s gender equality seal, and their roles to enable them to understand and appreciate the task ahead of them.

The committee composition

The Gender Equality Committee at the university comprises the following members: Dr. Sarah Ssali, an Associate Professor and the Dean, School of Women and Gender Studies, also the chairperson of the committee; Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha, the Director of Gender Mainstreaming; Mr. Evarist Bainomugisha, the University Bursar; Mr. Lawrence Ssanyu, the Acting Director of Human Resources; Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, the Dean of Students; Ms. Ritah Namisango, the Principal Public Relations Officer; Mr. Emmanuel Kitamirike, the Principal Planning Officer; and Mr. Ayub Kiranda, Programme Officer also Secretary to the Committee. The university is in the process of nominating two representatives of students (male and female) to join the Committee.

Dr. Sarah Ssali, Chairperson Makerere University’s Gender Equality Seal Committee

UNDP Uganda

During the orientation, Dr. Ssali noted, “the Gender Equality Seal will help us to monitor ourselves; it is also a process that will help the university deliver on its gender gains but also to become a centre of gender excellence.”

The Team Leader, Governance and Peace Strengthening at UNDP, Ms. Annet Mpabulungi Wakabi, commended the University for promoting gender equality and women empowerment and urged the committee to swiftly deliver on its mandate. “You are going to be the heart that ensures progress is made at the university when it comes to the different milestones that are set out in the gender equality seal programme,” she said.

The GES for Public Institutions supports and acknowledges efforts of public institutions towards achieving substantive equality between women and men within the framework of the 2030 agenda for development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aligned to the, UNDP Gender Equality Strategy, the GES certification programme is supported by UNDP with funding from the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls.