Management of Gender Relations and Response To Change at the University of Dar es Salaam: Some Reflections
The objective of this article is to reflect about initiatives towards addressing gender relations at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania, pondering whether those initiatives evolved from within or were imposed on the institution by wider national and international processes. The establishment of the UDSM reflected the societal gender relations that influenced the perpetuation of gender inequalities in student’s admission, academic and administrative recruitments, and management of staff through policies, directives and governance structures. Earlier initiatives directed by national politics and international organs covered some length. Later, local strategies to enhance the gender equity portfolio, through steps such as affirmative action in enrolment, became prominent. Yet, to date, the gender agenda at the UDSM is still debatable, and the backlash of giving what is claimed as ‘too much emphasis on the female’ prevails. The article questions whether the limited achievements are a reflection of the failure to deal with gender inequity at the primary level—the family level—so that gender equity becomes accepted and reflected in the wider societal relations. The article recommends that individuals be empowered with the right information to be able to address inequities from a personal level.