Kibabii University staff and students joined the rest of the world in celebrating the 2023 International Women’s Day themed “Embrace Equity” at the University’s Multipurpose Hall. The purple themed event was graced by top University Management including Prof. Ing. Benedict Mutua (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Partnerships, Planning, Research and Innovation) who represented the Vice Chancellor and Prof. Donald Siamba (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Finance and Development). Members of the University’s Gender Mainstreaming Committee led by the Director of Kibabii University’s Institute of Gender and Development studies, Dr. Rispah Wepukhulu, were also present.
In his speech, Prof. Mutua emphasized the importance of loving and protecting women because life comes from them. He lauded the organizers for selecting purple as the day’s theme color because it represents royalty that can be likened to the royalty possessed by women. Prof. Mutua urged men to come out of the purported “color blindness” and appreciate the value of day’s theme color, purple. He asked men to shun violence towards women and protect them in the same way that male animals protect their females.
On his part, Prof. Siamba noted that the Administration, Finance and Development Division values women and recognizes the special skills they possess. He pointed out that he has personally reviewed the profiles of many women at the University and realized that they are geniuses who normally go unrecognized. Prof. Siamba urged men to appreciate women every day because the world cannot be without women. He reiterated the University’s commitment to embracing gender equity and appreciating the value of female members of staff.
The chief guest, Ms. Mary Kundu, urged the University fraternity to be on the frontline in embracing equity. She noted that the University is a policy shaper in society and should help in formulating policies that will help society embrace gender equity. She noted the glaring gender gaps and urged students to be ambassadors of gender equity once they exit the University. She encouraged female students to believe in themselves and change their mindsets for the betterment of society. Ms. Kundu informed the attendees that they all have an individual role to play in embracing equity and should not expect to achieve equity if they fail to play their individual roles.
The Director, Institute of Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), Dr. Rispah Wepukhulu, appreciated the great strides made by female members of staff, especially towards furthering their education and taking up great challenges in their careers. She thanked the University’s Management for its relentless support in matters affecting women, and towards the IGDS. Dr. Wepukhulu acknowledged the challenges being faced by women across the world and pointed out the latest example where women in Afghanistan were barred from completing their university studies. She urged the world to pray for them and hoped for the day that such discrimination against women would end.
The Dean, Faculty of Science, noted that the two-thirds gender rule is grossly under-implemented in most institutions and organizations and urged the concerned authorities to take corrective actions.
UASU Kibabii University Chapter Chairperson, Dr. Makarios Wakoko, congratulated the IGDS Director for the prudent utilization of meagre resources allocated to her office to make great strides towards gender mainstreaming. He urged the University Management to increase the financial allocation to the IGDS so that the Directorate can be able to fulfil its mandate.
A delicious cake was cut and shared to the attendees by the Kibabii University ladies to celebrate the 2023 International Women’s Day.