Men's perception of women and girls' rights in higher institutions of learning: a case study of Makerere University
Among, Joanna Ipulet
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The study focuses on male students' perceptions of women and girls rights in higher learning institutions, a case of Maker ere University. It takes a historical approach to establish gender equality initiatives at the University that promote these rights, men’s views and thoughts of women rights, possible reasons for resistance to women rights and examining how best men can be involved in advocacy for women rights. The study employed case study research design with focus on Maker ere University. Data was collected using qualitative lenses with the help of effective tools like individual in-depth interviews(Boyce, 2006) and focus group discussions and key informant’s interviews (Mishra, 2016). The study Population engaged included both male and female undergraduate and post graduate students at Maker ere University from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the School of Women and Gender Studies, School of Social Sciences and School of Psychology. The sample size was determined by purposive sampling (Elder 2009). The study reviewed literature of secondary data like research, policy documents, and strategic plans among others. All Data was captured through voice recording and notes taking, which were then transcribed on Microsoft word document, reviewed and analysed by the researcher to develop and inform themes in the findings of the study. Participants” consent was sought before engaging them in the study and appointments with them were set a week prior to the interview date based on the convenient time suggested by the participants. I also sought their permission to record the conversations. Data collected during the study indicates a fair understanding of WGRs by male and female students at the university where most of them defined them as entitlements, extra rights and a form of affirmative action for gender equality. The male perceptions of Women and girls’ right to education in particular are backed by socialization, line of work and disciplines of study, religion and culture. As much as participants agreed that Women’s and girls’ Rights at Higher Learning Institutions are relevant, they also stressed that the promotion of WGRs is unfair and discriminative to the “boy child” thus some male student participants suggested the promotion of human rights instead. They also agreed that women’s right to education is very important and women should have it on the basis that it is a fundamental human right. However, they as well suggested that women should use this right to become more productive and better their households and not to confront men or reject their “natural roles” of marriage and care work.