Examining Participation and Quality of Experiences of Women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics: Postgraduate Training Programs and Careers in East Africa

Project Period

March 2020 - February 2025

High quality postgraduate training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related disciplines in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is important for the strengthening of research evidence to advance development and to ensure countries achieve the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs).

However, barriers that hinder women from participating in STEM-related careers implies that half of SSA’s potential is not being harnessed. Women and girls remain underrepresented in STEM due to gender stereotyping, lack of visible role models, and unsupportive policies and work environments. This situation is likely to be representative of the East African region.

The primary objective of the study is to examine the participation and experiences of women in postgraduate training, and their subsequent recruitment, retention and progression in STEM careers in the East Africa Region. A secondary objective is to establish the gender gaps in training and career engagement in selected STEM related academic disciplines in the East African Region.

The project will employ a mixed methods approach, including a scoping review, qualitative interviews, online self-administered surveys, and quantitative analysis of secondary data.

Ultimately, the results will inform the development of an effective gendered approach and framework to improve participation and experiences of women in STEM training and career engagements in the East African Region. Specifically, a supervision and mentorship framework for STEM postgraduate training in High Education Institutions (HEIs) in East Africa. The study will validate the framework via stakeholder engagement and consultative forums.

Project Team

  • Evelyn Gitau (PI)
  • Anne Khisa
  • Marta Vicente-Crespo
  • Florah Karimi
  • Hesborn Wao
  • Leah Mwangi
  • Hiram Kariuki

Project Period

  • Start Date: March 1, 2020
  • End Date: February 28, 2025


  • Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA)


  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Other Resources