The Gender and Women Studies department is an administrative part of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Training and Research (IITR), teaching and doing research focusing on adopting a gender approach in the field of women health which include the broad range of health conditions (some of which are related to social, cultural, economic, environmental and political factors) that affect women and society as a whole. The department combines academic efforts of the staff from the fields of public health, women health promotion, epidemiology, anthropology, gender, health education, sociology, obstetrics and gynecology, economics, political science and psychology. The department utilizes the latest social and behavioral science research methods.
Program Overview: Bachelor of Gender and Women Health (BGWH)
This is a programme offered by the Department of Gender and Women Studies. It provides students with knowledge, skills and competences to analyze gender and women health issues and develops a critical consciousness about social inequalities based on gender and other social cultural constructions that determine women health outcomes. The programme fosters awareness of and appreciation for the realities and diverse experiences, and develops a critical consciousness about social inequalities based on gender and other social cultural constructions that determine women health outcomes. Adolescents’ reproductive health is also looked at as of key concern and a basis for women health promotion. The interdisciplinary nature of the programme allows graduates to customize their educational and career goals by taking core courses which are taken from different disciplines and then later specializing in one area of interest that include Women Health Policy, Promotion and Education, Women, Gender and Health and Adolescent Reproductive Health
The overall goal of this programme is to train specialists in gender and women health. The gender and women health programme is an interdisciplinary disciplinary course that exposes students to a wide range of content that is cross-listed and contains courses that address feminists, women health and gender. Within this programme students are given theoretical and practical understanding of the interrelationship between gender, culture, biomedical and psychosocial factors that influence women health and illness. After completing the programme, students will be able to:
1) Identify and analyze social, economic, cultural, political and environmental barriers to women health
2) Demonstrate a holistic understanding of the interrelationship between gender and women health
3) Carryout gender mainstreaming exercises in women and reproductive healthcare and policy
4) Critique the complex causes of the healthcare system inadequacies in addressing women health issues
5) Design and implement women health promotion programmes at national, regional and international levels
6) Develop and advocate for women health programmes that bridge gaps in reproductive healthcare policy and service delivery.
Occupations for a graduate of Gender and Women Health include: Reproductive health educator and Promoter, Gender officer, Social worker and Counselor, Community development Worker, Coordinator of adolescent resource centers, Policy analyst and Staff with human rights organizations among others. The students through an extensive community outreach program acquire innovative and analytical skills
Contribution to National Development
Gender and women health are important aspects of the National and Global Development Agenda. This is reflected in the 2000 United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), of which 3 out of 8 (Universal Access to Education, Gender Equity and Maternal Health) are about women health and the related gender issues in particular child health, education and HIV/AIDS. MDG five is specifically aimed at reducing three quarters of the 1990 maternal mortality ratio by 2015. By creating a carder of human resource equipped with holistic knowledge in women health promotion is significant contribution to national development.