Ethiopia is a country of ethnic and cultural diversity and as a result, gender roles and relations vary widely across regions, cultures, and religious groups. Despite this some generalizations are possible. Traditionally women have largely been excluded from education indeed they have only a limited role in social management, community leadership and decision-making. Rather domestic tasks, child bearing, child rearing, farming, and caring for the sick dominate their lives. It is generally accepted that the more rigid the gender role in society, the sharper the gender division of labour and the lower the status accorded to women. The transformation agenda of the JU has also incorporate gender issue as one of the cross-cutting issues in order to see the problems in all directions and to act on it. The presence of gender policy will enhance the activities in the university, particularly it helps to mainstream gender issues in all school curriculum.
It was first established as affirmative action committee which acted for two years and later organized as gender office in 2000 which was again changed into office of women’s affairs in 2009.The office was empowered as a department since 2005 to incorporate gender main stream in the university’s activities. The office has four staff namely director,one expert, secretary and an office girl. The office is fully functional and accountable to the president of the university.
The Gender Office of Jimma University wishes to see all women to be competitive, empowered and assertive, so that they will have equal participation in social, economic and political aspect of the country.
The mission of Jimma University Gender Office is to pave the way for all females in the University and surrounding to be assertive and competitive. Furthermore, it aims at empowering females to be able to determine their fate and make decisions. On top of this, making the society of the University and its surrounding gender sensitive
- Jimma University office of women’s affairs strives to meet the following:
- Reduce the gender gap in education and employment
- Improve the status of women and produce competent and assertive female graduates;
- Improve those women in decision making position and leadership
- Make all systems of the University gender responsive and sensitive
- Create means of income generation scheme such as beauty saloon, laundry and shops etc to support needy female students.
- Gender mainstreaming across the university.
- Developing anti female harassment policy of the University.