Reflections on Gender Sensitivity at Masvingo Teachers’ College: A Special Case of 2006/ 2007 Student Representative Council Elections.
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The paper critically examines the concept gender sensitivity with reference to teacher training, particularly at Masvingo Teachers’ College. It outlines the special place the concept has at the college in question and in teacher training in general. It also critically analyzes the election framework and the electioneering at the above-named institution vis-a- vis the concept. A qualitative research design was used, in particular document analysis of students’ campaign posters, statistics on student enrollment as well as campaign speeches. Observation was intensively used as a data gathering technique whereby the three researchers immersed themselves in the thick of things to capture the minutest of details at the campaign ‘rallies’. It was deemed prudent by the researchers to use initials instead of real names in order to maintain a certain degree of confidentiality. The researchers found out that although the college’s enrollment policy is skewed in favour of females, this has not translated into gender sensitivity in terms of power distribution in student politics across the sexual divide; A case is made for the need not to pay lip service to the concept but to change teaching strategies and other practices so that gender asymmetry is genuinely tackled. Attention is also drawn to the need to sensitize and equip trainee teachers for the work of deconstructing gender.