Gender Responsive Education for You (GREY) project is an affirmative action programme aimed at addressing some of the grey areas responsible for the drop off of female graduates along the academic career path.
Only 17% of over 600 faculty members of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) are female. Over 9,000 of the 12,000 student population are males, with the widest disparities in faculties of engineering and mineral sciences as well as some departments such as Architecture, Computer Science, and Physics. The gender gap is even wider at the postgraduate level, (which determines the ratio of faculty members), with women earning less than 20% of Masters and Doctorate degrees. Socio-cultural and economic issues have been identified as constraints to the growth of women in science and technology disciplines, especially at postgraduate levels. A survey carried out by the Centre for Gender Issues in Science and Technology (CEGIST) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) indicated that female postgraduate students drop off during their academic programmes as a result of family re-location (husbands changing jobs), financial priorities, pregnancy or limited child-care support facilities, among other reasons. The present project is therefore aimed at addressing some of these constraints through an interactive forum aimed at supporting and encouraging female postgraduate students to complete their academic programmes on schedule and move towards developing excellent academic careers.
The implementation plan is to:
1. Introduce structured mentoring among female postgraduate students
through a gender mainstreaming, physical forum where personal and
professional challenges are not only discussed but firmly addressed.
2. Strengthening and empowering the female scientists such that their
self-confidence is greatly enhanced through the acceptance and respect
of family values. This is achieved through the introduction of
practical and flexible child-care support systems.