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Gender inequality still prevails in higher institutions

By Sophie Namigadde, Ultimate Media

Grania Mackie, a technical Advisor for the International Labor Organization has said that gender
inequality issues are still being manifested in higher institutions of learning both in Uganda and the rest
of the world.

Mackie who was speaking to Ultimate Media in Kampala on Friday said that male students and staff still
dominate many of the higher institutions of learning and vocational training institutions.

She attributed this to the deeply rooted culture in many societies that boys should be given first
priority when it comes to education. “Many girls drop out of schools because of parent’s refusal to pay
their fees. The parents reason that girls are of less importance in society and therefore spending money on them is a loss,” she said.

Mackie said that this gender inequality and stereotype has made women to lag behind. “Because they lack sufficient knowledge and skills that can enable them to apply for jobs where the opportunity is available, women remain poor and continue to depend on men,” she said.

Mackie said that there is need to end such gender-based discrimination and gender inequality
right from the grass roots because that is where the biggest problem lies.

Although, government through the introduction of affirmative action and through other initiative has
helped many female students to access especially university education in public universities, the
percentage of males is still bigger than that of females.

At Makerere University where in addition to the 5 points given to each female student to help them
qualify for admission, there are initiatives like the Female Scholarship Initiative and Scholarships to
female diploma holders scheme, the percentage of female students is smaller than that of males at
slightly above 40 percent.

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