To achieve our goal, this project is divided into four work packages

Our Packages

Work Package 1: Examining barriers and enablers for women in STEM research

Lead Investigators: Asikana Network (Zambia), Makerere University (Uganda) & Stockholm University (Sweden)

In this work package, we seek to investigate why women choose STEM careers in IT, DS, HCI, and ICT4D; identify the challenges that women face in their STEM careers, as well as what makes them successful.

Women are underrepresented in STEM research in all four of our research countries (South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia). Existing research highlights factors that contribute to or inhibit women’s participation in STEM. These include the presence of mentors and role models, supportive and flexible work schedules, opportunities for leadership development and poor maternity leave policies. Our work package seeks to understand the nuances of these barriers and enablers across different country contexts. We use quantitative and qualitative methods to map underrepresentation, barriers, and support mechanisms in our focus fields in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia.

Work Package 2: Increasing female representation in data science in Africa by learning from feminised STEM fields

Lead Investigators:  Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (Kenya) & The University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)

This work package explores various feminist approaches in STEA+M and uses the lessons garnered to find ways of facilitating gender equity in the data science field as well as develop a women-centred curriculum for Data Science.

Over the past decade, the ratio of females to males in the data science field has been consistently low but a number of STEM fields have female representation that is close to or comparable to that of males. Our goal in WP2 is to identify approaches that can increase the representation of females in the data science field by analysing feminised STEM fields in Africa. To address this goal, we will examine the support factors and practices in feminised fields such as nursing that lead to high female representation and how these factors can be adapted to the data science field. This will be carried out through data surveys on staff and students in the data science field as well as in feminised STEM fields. We will also undertake a stocktake and mapping of current research methods and curriculum design in the aforementioned fields so as to identify strategies that can be used to increase female representation in data science. Finally, in partnership with Data Science Africa, our team will pilot and facilitate a two-week training summer school, focusing on female high school students. Through these activities, strategies will be identified that will increase female representation in the data science field.

Work Package 3: Mainstreaming gender analysis and gender-just design methodologies

Lead investigator: University of Cape Town (South Africa)

In this work package, we seek to understand the factors that dissuade women and gender-diverse people from participating in co-design ventures and to develop methodologies/tools that make co-design ventures gender-just.

The limited use of the application of gender analysis, appropriate methodologies for gender-just designs, and tools for evaluating co-design readiness in research are challenges in the STEM field. In this work package, we seek to systematically map and advance the use of gender analysis in STEM research, particularly, in design approaches in Information Technology (IT), Data Science (DS), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). Using action research, we intend to develop and pilot a new gender-just design methodology and a tool for evaluating design readiness in the aforementioned fields. Experiences and lessons will be drawn from women and gender-diverse people in STEM from South Africa and Uganda to chart a pathway toward Gender Justice in STEM Research in Africa.

Work Package 4: GeJuSTA Academy – Supporting early-career female researchers in Africa

Lead Investigators: Makerere University (Uganda), International Institute of Information Technology (Kenya) & Stockholm University (Sweden).

This work package will facilitate the building of a support network (GeJuSTA Academy) for early female career researchers where they will be mentored and empowered to cope and compete favourably within STEM fields.

Women are change-makers with a key role in shaping digital futures. Without role models and active mentors, women in higher education and academia suffer from inadequate advice and support regarding career and personal development. The GeJuSTA Academy is a network with the aim of supporting early-career female researchers in Africa through mutual mentorship and knowledge sharing. We build on our previous work with the GeDIA Academy ( and focus on supporting female researchers in the STEM fields especially: Information Technology, Data Science (and Artificial Intelligence), Human-Computer Interaction (Co-Design/Participatory Design) and Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). The academy draws on the mentoring experience of senior researchers within the consortium as well as our external networks to build an active members-led mentorship programme.

The engagements between mentors and mentees are mostly online and in the form of webinars and ‘online coffees’. We cover vast topics including: How to develop a personal research trajectory; how to negotiate with funders/powerful research partners; funding and gender pay gaps; confronting discrimination, micro-aggression and harassment; women solidarity and male research allies.

“That I understand data structures and algorithms as much as I do, is a strength.”

Chao Mbogho, Computer Scientist, Educator, Founder & CEO of KamiLimu, Kenya

“That I understand data structures and algorithms as much as I do, is a strength.”

Chao Mbogho Computer Scientist, Educator, Founder & CEO of KamiLimu, Kenya

Join Us

Are you a senior researcher (a potential mentor) or an early-career female researcher from Africa (a potential mentee) in the following areas?

    Data Science & Artificial Intelligence

    Human-Computer Interaction & Co-Design


    ICTD & Human Geographies

    Gender and ICT Intersectionality

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