Women Leading

Women Leading Photo: Gemma Munday

Women Leading

Education paving the way for gender justice

Women must have more leadership opportunities and roles. Whilst this is not unique to education, academia can set the bar.

Universities and colleges are places where women can access leadership skills, best practice for gender policies can be demonstrated, and new research on gender issues can be pioneered.

Women in leadership roles within universities and colleges can encourage more women to pursue leadership and counteract unconscious gender biases: transforming society so that it works better for everyone.

What we have done so far

We worked with a consortium of partners, including the African Association of Universities (AAU) and the National Council of Tertiary Education (NCTE), to lead a study on higher education faculty in Ghana. We found that only 8% professors at public universities were women across the whole of the country.

This, coupled with the country’s requirement of 5 x the current number of professors to meet its booming student population, shows the need for more female leaders is urgent.

In Nigeria, the situation is similar, with only 17% of principle officers at universities being female. 

We are researching this topic alongside female leaders from across Africa, including holding focus groups and interviews.

Our recently launched African Evidence Research Database profiles African-led research, including female academics so they can gain funding and exposure.

We are also building a database that will match young people in sub-Saharan Africa with scholarships and funding.

Next Steps

We will use this evidence to support female academics seeking leadership roles in universities and colleges, and female students for whom leadership skills will be critical as they transition into employment.

We’re also on the lookout for a corporate partner to bring together the business and academic worlds. 

Life as a Female Professor in Ghana

Professor Goski Alabi is a professor at Laweh Open University in Ghana. Professor Goski Alabi took part in our Demographics of Faculty study and also features in our Impact Report


Aishwarya Tiku

Read Aishwarya Tiku's blog to find out about the work she is leading in Ethiopia to share knowledge, improve education, and train the next generation of leaders to make a difference in their communities.



Dubai Cares
Dubai Cares

Since its inception, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and young people in developing countries with access to quality education. As a result, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has successfully launched education programs reaching over 18 million beneficiaries in 57 developing countries.

Dubai Cares support programs in early childhood development, access to quality education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies.

“We are excited to announce our expansion into tertiary education, in partnership with ESSA. We believe this will help connect millions of students and graduates to employment opportunities and will be central to developing successful and sustainable economies and societies."

Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares