Bridging the Gender Equality Gap in Science at the Women’s University in Africa 2020-2023
Despite government initiatives to reduce gender disparities in higher education in Zimbabwe, persistent gaps remain, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related fields. Only 19% of female students are enrolled in STEM, compared with 39% of male students (World Economic Forum, 2018). This project will assist the Women’s University in Africa (WUA) — a private university created in 2002 in Zimbabwe with a mission to empower mostly female students for leadership and developmental roles — to review, learn from, and improve its interventions to reduce systemic barriers and increase women’s participation in STEM disciplines.
A team of local researchers used a mixed methods approach to identify and assess existing barriers and interventions. They worked with members of WUA to design, implement, and monitor novel approaches and interventions to address the barriers that prevent women’s full participation in STEM fields at the university. The lessons learned from the project target key stakeholders in an effort to inform and influence policies that support STEM in Zimbabwe’s higher education sector.
This project was selected for funding as part of the IDRC call for proposals "Breaking systemic barriers to women’s participation in science". The project ran from 2020-2023 and it's outputs included several studies about gender equality initiatives and WUA.
For more information about this project, or to read about the results, follow the link here.