Gender issues in Migration

University of Nairobi staff and students were taken through the 500 year old history of slave trade, colonization and migration of Africans to the Americans and the untold suffering in the treacherous journey to the new lands. Professor  Eudine Barriteau , Pro Vice-Chancellor , University of West Indies, Barbados narrated the gender issues on Migration on January 10, 2020 at the University of Nairobi Towers.

Gender issues in Migration

According to Professor Barriteau, the Caribbean was born out of plunder, pillage, occupation, enslavement. It is an amalgamation of arrivals and departures, by force or willingly. The Caribbean’s are perpetually on the move: Just in case – work comes, immigration officer comes calling among other reasons that may necessitate moving.

 Professor Barriteau narrated the gender issues and how they can be supported or squashed by state power. She pointed out that unlike the President Obama Administration which was lenient and allowed gender identities, President Trump Administration has been very intolerant. “Gender is not interchangeable with women or sex”, she clarified. She explained that most Caribbean’s have transnational families that hold family meetings via Skype since they don’t have a home. “The concept of a home is foreign to the Carribean”, she said.

When the slave trade was abolished in 1834, one hundred years later, between 1940 and 1965 some slaves migrated to the Europe and more so the United Kingdom mainly because the Britons encouraged migration, secondly, the slaves had British passports. Prof. Barriteau also explained in details the tribulations that the women gender underwent during the slave trade including rape and separation from family and low pay.

Earlier on, Professor Barriteau paid a courtesy call to the University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama where they discussed staff and student exchange programs and collaborations. As the University of West Indies, they are careful on collaboration in the areas of; medical sciences, online executive MBA for health professionals, infectious diseases, biosecurity studies, culture and performance arts.

University of West Indies, Barbados, was established 71 years ago as a College of the University of London and is ranked in the 400-500 band by Times University Rankings. Uwi Cave Hill Campus have strengths in medical sciences which is accredited by USA Medical Universities. It is also strong in culture and creative arts, biosecurity studies and resource management and environmental studies.

Prof. Stephen Kiama agreed to support the staff and student exchange programs noting that the University is strong on collaboration with the universities in the East and the West. On online education, the Vice Chancellor observed that Online and Distance e-Learning, ODeL, will be the next frontier of growth.