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Background

Gender refers to the socially constructed roles and responsibilities of women and men in a given culture or location. These roles are influenced by perceptions and expectations arising from cultural, political, environmental, economic, social and religious factors, as well as customs, laws, class, ethnicity and individual or institutional bias. Gender attitudes and behaviors are acquired and could be changed.

Addis Ababa University aspires to be an institution where gender equality is realized and empowerment of women/girls is attained. For this reason, the AAU Senate Legislation (both the former and the revised version, April 2013, Article 165: 1 & 2) states that ‘the University shall have the Office of Gender and Educational Equity, which shall cater to issues pertaining to the creation of a University community sensitive to gender equality within and outside the University by working to create an environment where no gender stereotype exists and where all females are fairly represented in all areas of the University’s activities’.

As stated in the legislation, the activities of the office are

  • mainstreaming gender in the teaching-learning, training, research activities, and community service of the University
  • identifying challenges faced by female students of the University and providing solution
  • following-up and coordinating supports provided to female students by the University and other stakeholders
  • raising the awareness of the University community on existing gender issues within the University in collaboration with other offices
  • establishing linkage with national and international governmental or non-governmental stakeholders working on gender issues
  • initiating and/or strengthen services to groups with special needs
  • establishing and/or strengthen networking, partnership and think tank group on gender
  • creating networking with other similar offices in higher education institutions for experience sharing and other collaborative initiatives; and others.

The Central Gender office is located at main campus of the university and operates centrally under the office of the President to which it is accountable. It has a direct working relationship with the gender offices at college levels and oversees their activities. The gender experts at the college level are accountable to the college deans. All who are interested are welcome to join our office and combat gender inequality and support the success of our students.

Mission:

Leads the University towards being an institution where both genders are fairly represented in all areas of its activities.

The objectives of the Addis Ababa University gender office are:

  • to promote gender equality in undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • to provide support for students, particularly female students in order to improve their academic performance and minimize their dropout rate.
  • to fight violence against women.
  • to mainstream gender equality in all the university activities
  • to ensure gender equality across the university

The Strategies used to achieve these objectives are:

  • Capacity Building Program
  • Orientation Training Program
  • Academic Support program
  • Economic Support program
  • Honoring Success (AAU Women’s Day )
  • Services delivery /Gender resource center
  • Retention and Remedial Programs
  • Female scholarship program
  • Outreaching Programs
  • Mass education/ Awareness Creation
  • Networking/Forum
  • Developing Policy guidelines
  • Establish and support student clubs working on various gender issues