New Directions in Higher Education in Africa: What Role for Women & Gender Studies?

Date Apr 28, 2011
Time 12:00 pm  
Location Room 333, College of Education
Speaker Dr. Maimouna Barro, Associate Director, Center for African Studies
Sponsor Global Studies in Education On-Campus Program
Since independence, education has probably been the area where women in several African countries have made the greatest gains. Widening access to education at all primary, secondary, and tertiary levels has been a major policy goal in many African countries for the past four decades. However, education represents an arena in the development agenda where  gender disparities exists at all levels, but especially in higher education where inequalities between men and women are more pronounced with respect to access, retention and achievement.

The beginning of the new millennium in Africa has also coincided with a deepening crisis in higher education and the necessity to look for other alternatives that seek to bypass governments. This paper focuses on the 1990s onwards and examines ways in which the promotion of women and gender studies programs may offer us tools to rethink more critically issues engaging access, retention and achievement in higher education, not just for women but for all. Since the 1970s, there has been a long process of euphoria, then disillusionment and later self-criticism and re-organization of higher education among African intellectuals and in African intellectual circles. The primary contention of this paper is that in order to get a more holistic approach to solving the crisis in higher education in the continent more attention should be given to gender and women studies in both research and teaching.

Global Studies in Education On-Campus Seminar Series