Gender educating and informing various sectors of society

Gender equality has been a major concern in the development
discourse since the end of World War II (Okumu, 2012). Gender mainstreaming
became a tool in improving, developing and evaluating policy processes, so that
gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and
that all stages by the actors normally involved in policy-making (Koul, 1984). It
is one of the major strategies in educating and informing various sectors of
society on the need to recognize and respect rights of women and men. Educating
more women translates to additional socio-economic gains that benefit entire
societies, including increased economic productivity, higher family incomes,
more informed members of the society and respect for the rights of women.
Research has shown that investments in education facilitate the achievement of
most other development goals including sustainable growth (USAID, “Education
Strategy: Improving Lives through Learning”, 2005).

In the recent years, the Philippine government, through the
Commission on Higher Education, is mandated to pursue ad implement programs,
projects and activities that will contribute to the achievement of women’s
empowerment and gender equality being a State Party to the United Nations (UN)
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women
(CEDAW) signed on July 15, 1980 and ratified on August 5, 1981. In line with
the commitment to promote gender responsive programs, CHED doubled its efforts since
2011 as the Commission spearheaded series of Gender Summits which roused the
entire higher education sector from non-compliance or indifference to Gender
and Development policies and thrusts, to a linked and committed partnership
from which emerged numerous programs, activities and projects with the
judicious use of GAD budgets of public HEIs (CHED Press Release, 2016). In
2015, following the positive response of SUCs, the Commission released CHED
Memorandum Order No. 1, series of 2015 , Establishing
the Policies and Guidelines on Gender and Development in the Commission on
Higher Education and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), which sets the
minimum standards to promote gender-sensitive/responsive and rights-based
policies, curricula, instructional materials, as well as research and extension
services in all public and private higher education institutions in the
country. On the same year, per World Economic Forum global gender gap index,
the Philippines is the most gender-equal county in Asia and seventh (7th)
worldwide surpassing 138 countries.

In matters relating to gender equality, higher education
institutions play a crucial role as they are one of the central sites for
facilitating the skills, knowledge and expertise important to economic and
social development. Southern Leyte State University, being the case on study,
is the lone University in the province of Southern Leyte that is mandated to
ensure that the areas on administration, instruction, research and extension
are gender responsive. Thus, the researcher intends to study the determinants
of gender equality patterned from the study of Ovseiko et al., 2016 titled “Markers of
achievement for assessing and monitoring gender equity in translational
research organizations: A Rationale and Study Protocol” by applying it in
higher education institution and its influence on faculty and staff
development. Existing literatures had their focus on the level of awareness of
faculty members, staff and students on national mandates and other related laws
pertaining to gender and development. Likewise, other studies had explored on
gender equality in business and manufacturing industries within which wages and
salaries are an issue. There is not much literature on the subject of gender
equality in higher education institutions thus its relationship with faculty
and staff development remained unexplored and a lot of issues and concerns were
not addressed.


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