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Women’s participation in higher education in Southern Africa: Understanding the regional scenario #IWD2023

9 March, 2023 hora: 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Although the primary responsibility for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lies at the country level, higher education institutions (HEIs) in the respective countries are well placed to make a significant contribution to the 2030 Agenda. Enrolment in higher education institutions worldwide, including in Africa, has been growing more rapidly than ever in recent years. HEIs have played an increasingly influential role in national and world affairs as they have expanded in number and outreach. However, this expansion is also presenting national governments with multiple challenges relating to the inclusion of women in HEIs and their full and sustainable participation in the tertiary education sector.

A background study is being done, via a survey and desktop study, in 9 countries in southern Africa (Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to determine the role that women in HE currently play in the education systems. The event will discuss the preliminary results of the survey in these nine countries, ultimately enhancing the capacities of African higher education institutions to support women’s participation in their systems.

There will be participation of high-level delegates and women in this area to discuss the significance of these results for women in HE and STEM in their countries and what we could do to improve and increase the participation of women in these education systems.

Organized by UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNESCO Office in Harare) & UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education (UNESCO IESALC)


  • Lidia Arthur Brito, Regional Director and Representative, UNESCO Office in Harare
  • Francesc Pedró, Director, UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latina America and the Caribbean (IESALC)
  • Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher Education and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Zimbabwe
  • Phil Mjwara, Director-General, Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, South Africa
  • Peter Wells, Head of Education, UNESCO Office in Harare
  • Phil Mjwara, Director-General, Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, South Africa
  • Rovani Sigamoney, Education Programme Specialist, UNESCO Office in Harare
  • Daniele Vieira, assistant professor, Federal University of Pernambuco

Registration: here



9 March, 2023
8:00 am - 10:30 am