20. Betina.JPG

Bettina is a teacher in extension and concept models and the gender coordinator of Mbeya Agricultural Technical Institute (MATI). Hanze and MATI collaborated with the NUFFIC TMT+ Agri project to enhance entrepreneurship training and practical skills training at MATI. Part of the project was to enhance gender equality.

'Before the start of the project, there was no gender awareness. After the gender training, we made a few changes and recruited more female staff. We also started a gender club and trained the leaders of the club. The club is doing several activities based on the issues discussed in the gender training. We also had a specific training for the female students about gender issues. This training specifically focuses on sexual harassment, discrimination in the learning environment and health issues like HIV aids. We also provided them with sanitary products like pads and disposal containers. Some students have such difficult backgrounds that they are not able to afford these products themselves. We as teachers, both male and female, try to contribute financially to help these kind of students. We also made gender issues related posters that we distributed in town to show the public that girls can also ride tractors.'

'Many students come from all male or all female schools. We teach our female students how to work together with male students. To see them as their brothers.'

'Our goal is to create a community that is gender sensitive. Discussing gender issues is important for our development because a lot of tribes undermine women. We try to tell our students to go out into their community and let them know women play an important role in the development of the agriculture sector. We also hope to influence kids in primary school, because they are stakeholders who later apply to our school. Women need the same opportunities as men.'