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Knowledge and attitudes on gender equality and their correlates among the second year students of University of Colombo

Authors:

M. N. Vidanapathirana ,

University of Colombo, LK
About M. N.
Faculty of Medicine
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S. Varothayan,

University of Colombo, LK
About S.
Faculty of Medicine
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D. C. Vilochani,

University of Colombo, LK
About D. C.
Faculty of Medicine
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C. Wangmo,

University of Colombo, LK
About C.
Faculty of Medicine
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H. Jayakody

University of Colombo, LK
About H.
Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background: Gender equality is a significant determinant of the health and national development of a country. As future leaders, undergraduates need sufficient knowledge and favorable attitudes towards gender equality, to enable gender-equitable socio-economic decision-making.

 

Objectives: This study aimed to assess the level of knowledge and attitudes on gender equality and describe their correlates among the second year students of University of Colombo.

 

Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted among 388 second year students selected through multistage random sampling in the faculties of Arts, Management, Science and Computing in University of Colombo. A self-administered questionnaire was employed to gather information and data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test.

 

Results: The results revealed that a majority of respondents had a satisfactory level of overall knowledge on gender equality, with a mean of 59.28 % (SD-13.53). However, knowledge on practical aspects such as gender equity, gender mainstreaming, gender legislature and gender equality indicators in Sri Lanka were not satisfactory. The majority of the respondents had favorable attitudes towards gender equality (55.1%) and its various aspects. Positive attitudes were found to be associated with female sex (p=0.0001, X2= 47.230, df=2), higher level of paternal (p=0.005, x2 =7.787, df=1) and maternal education (p=0.004, x2 =8.149, df=1), paternal employment (p=0.014, X 2= 6.100, df=1) and higher level of respondent knowledge on gender equality (p=0.002, X2= 9.335, df=1).

 

Conclusions: Knowledge on gender equality was satisfactory and attitudes towards it were favorable among selected group of university undergraduates. However, knowledge on practical aspects of gender equality was poor.
How to Cite: Vidanapathirana, M.N. et al., (2017). Knowledge and attitudes on gender equality and their correlates among the second year students of University of Colombo. Ceylon Journal of Medical Science. 54(1), pp.35–43. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjms.v54i1.4806
Published on 23 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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