The Director of Gender and Social Inclusion Unit at the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Dr Cherub Antwi-Nsia, has implored tertiary institutions to incorporate gender mainstreaming into all its programmes and activities.

Dr Antwi-Nsiah, believes institutions will benefit socio-economically if this public policy concept is adopted.

Speaking at a two-day workshop organised by Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Ghana (WiSTEM Gh) in collaboration with the energy centre in Kumasi she said, “research has shown that organisations and institutions that have embraced gender-diversity have improved their performance and have become more effective.

“This is a business case for gender mainstreaming. Yes, gender mainstreaming is a human right and social justice issue [but] beyond that it makes economic sense.”

At the workshop, which was hosted by Brew-Hammond Energy Centre, Dr Antwi-Nsiah also asked that a senior academic official should be appointed to initiate and communicate the transition to include gender mainstream in tertiary policies.

Gender mainstreaming is the public policy concept of assessing the different implications for people of different genders of any planned policy action, including legislation and programmes, in all areas and levels.

A policy analyst from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Rudith King who was also at the programme said that women-specific activities are not enough to correct gender inequalities.

“Gender mainstreaming is a move away from women-specific programmes and projects only,” she said.

“Women-specific activities may also be necessary to address gender inequalities but they do not often address the underlying reasons for gender disparities,” the analyst continued.

Provost of the College of Engineering at KNUST, Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah said that the college is taking steps to address gender imbalance by increasing female students and lecturers.

“We’re aware of the traditional male dominance of the domain of engineering study and practice,” he said.

Professor Adom-Asamoah revealed that the college has set themselves a goal to increase the male-female lecturer ratio in the college.

“From our strategic plan, the college is implementing an affirmative action plan for female admission to the engineering programme and we hope to reach at least 40 percent female enrollment by 2025,” he disclosed.

According to the professor, the World Bank and Government of Ghana are collaborating on an initiative that seeks to give an opportunity to females to pursue post-graduate education and research in engineering programmes.