The vice chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), weekend, revealed that the institution was set to domesticatethe revised National Gender Policy to promote gender equality in the institution.
Professor Florence Obi made the revelation when the United Nations Women paid her a courtesy call.
It was learnt that the Federal Government approved the Revised National Gender Policy in March 2022, and that thepolicy represents a set of minimum standards expected of the Nigerian government to meet its mandate for gender equality, good governance, accountability, and being socially responsive to the needs of its vulnerable group.
Obi explained to UN women that the draft policy was before the Senate of the university for deliberation and approval before the commencement of the strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), expressing the hope that as soon the strike was suspended, the Senate will approve the policy for domestication in the institution.
She told the UN Women that the university was keen on having a robust gender programme, hence the creation of a Directorate on Gender Development in the institution.
Her words: “University education doesn’t end with the certificate alone, but the ability to mound the character of the students and equipping them with certain qualities that can stand them out.
“As a university, we are set to domesticate the revised National Gender Policy to help us strengthen our directorate of gender development. The draft policy is currently before the senate of the institution and I am sure that once ASUU suspends its strike, we will approve and domesticate the policy.
“For us as a university, we know what we want for our students. We should be able to mould our students in character, mentally and psychologically.
“We have also come up with a disability policy to see that everyone is carried alone. Most disabled people have the ability and capacity to contribute their quota to our nation’s development,” she said.
She said the management of UNICAL was so conscious about protecting students of the institution, especially the female ones.
Obi informed the UN Women that she was ready to partnerthem, adding that when the students have the knowledge and advocacy, it would help to shape their conduct and behaviour.
The programme specialist, UN Women, Mrs Tosin Akibu, said the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria was launched in 2019 with a view to eliminating violence against women and girls.
Akibu said that part of their mandate was to strengthen the response on how to prevent issues of gender based violence against women and girls.
She assured the vice chancellor that they would do everything to ensure that the programme of enlightening and creating awareness on the dangers of gender based violence in UNICAL was achieved.
The programme manager, Women At Risk International, Mr Adeyemi Asaba, said their objective was to reduce the drastic rate of sexual harassment and rape across higher institutions of learning in Nigeria.
He commended the vice chancellor for her inclusiveness for persons living with disabilities in the institution and also for creating a directorate for gender development.