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A world of possibilities A world of possibilities
By Dr. Harriet Sakala, FAWEZA Alumni

From the Executive

FAWE initiative promotes women’s access and professional development in higher education

Friday, 20 February 2009

FAWE has been selected by the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers (NYRAG) as one of the 30 stories to be featured on its 30th anniversary celebration website FAWE has launched a two-year initiative on African women in higher education in Africa with the objective of enabling access, professional development and promotion of women in higher education through gender-responsive research, innovative advocacy strategies and leadership training.

Although significant progress has been made in recent years in promoting gender equity and equality in institutions of higher education, only six percent of African women participate in higher education processes as students, faculty or administrators. Furthermore, sexual harassment, gender stereotyping, unequal or insensitive evaluation, as well heavy domestic work and childcare loads, often compound the situation of women academics and managers in African higher learning environments.

Accordingly, FAWE’s initiative, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, seeks to:

  • Determine gender trends in staff recruitment, promotion and retention in universities.
  • Influence policy-makers and administrators to take action on the gender gaps in employment and leadership identified within their institutions.
  • Monitor, track and report on implementation of proposed gender-responsive actions.
  • Improve the capacity of women academics and managers to advocate and influence institutional leadership for greater gender equality.
  • Facilitate women’s access and promotion to leadership and management positions in universities.

FAWE will work with a number of researchers, advocates and FAWE members in selected universities from various Anglophone and Francophone African countries to move issues within their respective universities and ensure that increasing attention is paid to higher education and Millennium Development Goal 3 at regional level.

In recognition of FAWE’s work in favour of girls’ and women’s education in Africa, the organisation’s profile was submitted to NYRAG by the Rockefeller Foundation, one of FAWE’s founding partners and a long-standing donor partner.

A feature on FAWE’s work will be showcased alongside 30 other grant projects that collectively illustrate the diversity of NYRAG’s philanthropic membership, covering societal issues including education, the environment, disaster relief and the arts. From 8 April, one new feature story will be added to the web site each working day until all 30 of the selected organisations have been featured on the site.

NYRAG works to promote and support effective philanthropy for the public good. Through its members, including the Rockefeller Foundation, it sustains programmes that address crucial societal needs.

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