Kampala – Ugandan students have been asked to avoid gender stereotypes while selecting Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses.
According to Kyateka Mondo, commissioner of Youth and Children Affairs Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, all TVET opportunities can be done perfectly by both males and females.
“No job is designed for only males or females. We have seen women who are doing jobs that previously used to be done by men and do them better. I would like to appeal to all girls and their parents to drop the misconception that certain jobs are for males and others for females,” says Kyateka.
He made the remarks on Saturday while officiating at the closure of an Induction and Capacity Strengthening Workshop for Girls in Vocational Training Centers held in Kampala.
The four-day training organised by the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET)
sought solutions to several challenges that hinder girls’ access to and successful completion of TVET programs and also to equip them with the ability to speak up for themselves on issues affecting them.
Presenting a position paper for girls’ in Ugandan TVETS, Hadijah Nanyanjo, a beneficiary from Kabalagala one-stop youth center noted gender stereotypes and cultural beliefs as one of those challenges.
“We face discrimination and limited access to opportunities due to deeply ingrained gender stereotypes and social norms. Things that we do people don’t believe are meant for us. The community doesn’t expect to see us doing carpentry, mechanics, etc so it limits us in a certain way,” said Nanyanjo
She recommended that government makes intentional efforts toward raising awareness among communities and stakeholders on the importance of TVET education for girls and creates awareness about the opportunities available.
One of the participants at the workshop Evelyn Nandago (24) from Bugiri district is pursuing welding and fabrication at Lugogo Vocation Training Institute.
While speaking to LBS Newsday, Nandago said, “I was raised by a single mother. My mom tried her level best to ensure that I at least finish senior four. After my O’level, I got stuck at home. I was encouraged to apply and join Lugogo Vocation Training Institute in January 2022 under a scholarship arrangement. I encourage girls to join TVET institutions because we who are already in the system are enjoying cause right now I’m already earning even when I’m still studying.”
According to Muthoki Nzioka the Girls and Young Women Policy and Program Assistant at FEMNET, the workshop was organised as part of the “Influencing Inclusive Access to Girls’ Education” project.
FEMNET is a pan-African, feminist and membership-based network based in Nairobi, Kenya with over 800 individual and institutional members across 50 African countries and in the diaspora.