Eliminating Barriers to Women’s Participation in Science – A study of the African Research Universities Alliance

Eliminating Barriers to Women’s Participation in Science – A study of the African Research Universities Alliance

At the beginning of 2020, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in collaboration with the Gender in Science Innovation Technology and Engineering (GenderInSITE) Africa focal point were selected by the International Development Research Centre of Canada as part of 11 research teams around the globe to receive grants under the call for proposals Breaking barriers: Understanding obstacles facing women in STEM in the Global South.

ASSAf’s project Eliminating barriers to women’s participation in science: A study of the African Research Universities Alliance studies 16 of sub-Saharan Africa’s research-intensive universities (of which 6 are South African ) with a focus on three interlinked aspects: the institutional culture (the recruitment, retention, and inclusion of women in STEM); the STEM research environment (promotion of diversity in STEM research teams); and university leadership (the gathering of statistics on women in senior leadership and management positions and the preparation of women for such positions). The principal researchers of the project include Ms. Phyllis Kalele, Senior Liaison Officer-African Collaboration, Mr Stanley Maphosa, International and National Liaison Manager and Prof Roseanne Diab, Director of GenderInSITE. At present, the project is at varying phases for each of the universities including applications for research licenses and ethical clearance and data collection through a survey in other universities. It is intended that the study’s findings, lessons learned, and examples of best practice will be widely disseminated, towards the broader objective of enabling women to contribute to addressing Africa’s many development challenges.