GHAPCO started its operation at first as special interest group on gender (SIGG) at SMU in 2008. Although GHAPCO is recently established to carry out activities worth its name, in its earlier role, it had already contributed tremendously in fighting against sexual harassment in the University with the support of the university-wide Anti- Sexual Harassment Policy, which has been put in place through the Anti- Sexual Harassment Committee.
Moreover, taking the serious impact of HIV/AIDS in the sector, SMU took the lead in the private HEIs to open HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office to give comprehensive response to prevent and control the spread of the pandemic among the University Community and the surrounding society as whole. Following the decision made by the General Assembly of Higher Education Instiutions Forum for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS held on 2010, the University merged the office with the Gender Office as Gender and HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (GHAPCO) to make all programs, activities and services gender sensitive and responsive in all the University’s structure.
The establishment of the Office helped to organize and harmonize the fragmented activities, which had been performed by different units and offices that enabled to mainstream HIV/AIDS activities in all programs; and to be planned, implemented, coordinated, monitored or evaluated in all units and offices of the University,
VISION, MISSION AND OBJECTIVES OF THE OFFICE
The vision of GHAPCO is to ensure gender equity and equality of the highest standard in the premises of SMU and create HIV free generation to contribute to the achievement of similar objectives in Higher Education Institutions in the country.
The mission of GHAPCO is to work hard for the attainment of educational quality by creating gender and HIV sensitive and inclusive academic environment. In addition, it deals with empowering women and mainstreaming gender and HIV into the University’s system towards alleviating major gender related problems such as HIV/AIDS and sexual harassment.
- Alleviating gender related problems of female students and the University community;
- Fighting for justice whenever there is violation of females’ right in the University;
- Achieving educational quality, through gender and HIV sensitive and inclusive curriculum and other teaching learning materials;
- Minimizing the attrition rate among students;
- Conducting research, advocating for and participating in gender issues and the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and militate against its impact for the betterment of humanity;
- Coordinating and supporting gender and HIV/AIDS prevention activities, programs and plans of the University by way of sensitizing the University and surrounding community to join hands in eliminating Gender Based Violence and stigma towards HIV/AIDS, and impose corrective action;
- Preventing further HIV infection among all SMUC employees and their family members; and
- Fostering a work environment that does not discriminate on the basis of gender and HIV infection.
- Increase the awareness on gender and HIV issues among University Community;
- Develop female students’ and staff assertiveness;
- Create an enabling environment for female students and staff members to realize their potential;
- Protect females’ rights in the University;
- Work towards ending gender related problems, like sexual harassment through Anti Sexual Harassment Committee;
- Enhance female students’ academic performance;
- Contribute to the national endeavors toward developing gender policy for academic institutions of higher learning;
- Address social, economic and physical barriers to create access for women;
- Provide services and interventions in females’ and men’s reproductive needs and intentions in the University;
- Address Sexual Reproductive Health education;
- Involve female students in identifying, prioritizing and resolving their own reproductive health needs;
- Address domestic violence, emotional and physical abuse, and the threat of abandonment.
- Sensitize the University Community about the harms of HIV/AIDS thereby bring about a sense of social responsibility;
- Develop and regularly update HIV/AIDS model policies for the prevention, control, and care for the infected and affected and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS;
- Carryout further research into preventing the existing problem in relation to gender and HIV/AIDS;
- Develop a strategic plan for prevention, control, treatment, care and support of HIV/AIDS infected and affected persons within the University Community;
- Create Network and referral linkage with different institutions, organizations and partners; and
- Disseminate up-to-date research results to the University Community.