Report on the 8th International Conference of the Institute of Women Gender and Development Studies

Report on the 8th International Conference of the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies

We’ve taken research and innovation to a new level – FUTO VC

Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Francis Chukwuemeka Eze has said his administration has elevated research and innovation to a whole new level with the creation of Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Research, Development and Innovation.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university’s effort in advancing research and innovation has continued to yield positive results, including the recent World Bank recognition of FUTO as Africa Centre for Excellence in Future Energies and Electrochemical Systems (ACE-FUELS).

Prof. Eze disclosed this Tuesday, May 14, 2019, while declaring open the 8th international conference of the Institute of Women, Gender and Development, with the theme ‘Gender, Education and Sustainable Development’.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Innovation), Prof. B.C. Anusionwu, noted that the theme of the conference particularly captured the important role of the academia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“As a foremost university of technology in Nigeria, FUTO has remained at the forefront of quality education as a result of which our graduates are highly sought after all over the world.

“We have continued to provide teaching, research and community service in line with our mission of operating practical training geared towards transforming the nation’s economy from consumer-oriented to production-oriented, with a sound technological base.”, the Vice-Chancellor said.

He expressed the hope that the conference would generate innovative ideas that would ensure the realization of the promise of education for the benefit of all and pledged his administration’s commitment to quality teaching, research, development and innovation.

While welcoming the conference participants, Director of the Institute, Prof. Mrs. Gloria Okwu said the Institute, through its array of programmes and activities, has sustained its reputation as a centre of excellence for women, gender and development issues, adding that the conference theme was carefully selected to underscore the critical role of gender and education in the achievement of the SDGs.

In a lead paper entitled ‘Education for Sustainable Development, former Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu, Prof. Mkpa A. Mkpa described education as a veritable means of engendering change in knowledge, skills, and attitudes for sustainable living. While noting that sustainable living is a living today that does not compromise living tomorrow, Prof. Mkpa emphasized the need for cutting down on wastages and unnecessary expenditure of resources by all and called for the infusion of these basic tenets of sustainable living into the school curriculum. He further challenged some unwholesome practices against women including political participation, inheritance, kola nut procedure, and all traditions that are antithetical to the tenets of justice and fairness.

In another lead paper titled ‘Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Beyond the Rhetorics’, a Professor of Parasitology at the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Florence Nduka explored the various forms of harmful practices against women including discriminatory laws, violence, early marriage, unpaid domestic labour, among others.

Prof. Nduka emphasised that women are equal partners with men in the race for sustainable development, and called for attitudinal change, respect for women, and early advocacy to boys and men.

At the technical sessions of the conference, participants presented papers on wide-ranging issues in line with the sub-themes of the conference, including entrepreneurship education and sustainable development; gender and sustainable physical health education; gender, science and technology education; and technical and vocational education for sustainable development.

Others are girl-child education, special education and nomadic education; sustainable educational curriculum and pedagogy; teacher education and sustainable manpower development, among others.

The Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies (IWoGDS) is a multidisciplinary academic and research unit in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, with the mandate to mount programmes and engage in activities that promote teaching, research and community service in women, gender and development issues.

In addition to running Masters, Postgraduate and Certificate courses in gender and related fields, the Institute holds annual international conferences and publishes the highly-rated International Journal of Gender and Development Issues sponsored by TETFund.

Further to its mandate, the Institute organizes activities in the university to mark global events relevant to its core areas such as international women’s day, the international day for the elimination of violence against women, among others.