Invitation to Submit Abstracts

THEME: Africa and Gender Studies: Celebrating 30 Years of Transformation and  Re-imagining the Future (August 25-27, 2021)

Invitation to Submit Abstracts


In 2021 Makerere University will be celebrating 30 years of teaching Gender Studies. To celebrate this important milestone, the School of Women and Gender Studies is proposing an international conference to bring together 250 international scholars in the field of Gender Studies.

This three day International Conference on Gender Studies in Africa aims to bring together international expertise from academia, science granting councils, government, industry as well as civil society to deliberate on the space and place of Gender Studies in the academy and in development practice in Africa. This will be a Pan African celebration of Gender Studies and of the continent and the global South as a site of production of Gender knowledge and Feminist scholarship. Beyond the continent we plan to reach out to other programmes in the global South especially Asia and Latin America, as well as northern partners and collaborators in the Caribbean, North America and Europe.

Conference Purpose:

To enable a conversation on the space and place of Gender Studies in Africa, reviewing the past and re-imagining the future.

 Conference Objectives:

The conference objectives are to:

  1. Bring together different Gender units in Africa to share experiences of teaching and researching in Women and Gender Studies in Africa
  2. Examine the contribution of Women and Gender Studies to Africa’s development
  3. Examine the crises such as war HIV and neoliberalism have shaped the teaching of Gender studies in the academy.
  4. Assess the link between Women’s organising/activism in Africa and the subject of Gender studies in the African Academy
  5. Reposition Women and Gender Studies in Africa for the future

The historical journey of Women and Gender Studies in Africa has been paradoxical. On the one hand you have the flourishing of the discipline in the academy and the field of practice. The 1990s saw several units offering Gender courses in several universities on the Africa continent. In the world of practice, many initiatives to integrate gender in development were initiated paving way for the gender units to inform policy and practice. Gender scholars on the continent have been at the fore front of initiatives such as gender budgeting, affirmative action and gender focused research for scholarly and non-scholarly purposes, informed by the peculiar challenges offered by their setting, including war and conflict, HIV/AIDS, poverty, famine, environmental disasters and much more.

Gender equality is considered in many African countries’ regulatory and policy frameworks. On the other hand, there have been threats to the discipline, emanating from Africa’s peculiar challenges. For example austerity measures imposed by strict funding regimes of higher education have raised questions on how Gender Studies should be taught in the Africa academy.  This has seen the discipline instrumentalised, diminishing its social transformatory potential. Several meetings have been held to try and assess where we are and where we should be. This is yet another opportunity to continue the reflection and strategizing, in view of emerging global challenges.

To this end, the International Conference on Gender Studies in Africa executive organising committee to submit papers and panels on the theme: Africa and Gender Studies: Celebrating 30 Years of Transformation and Repositioning for the Future under the following subthemes. The list is not exhaustive and the conference co-chairs welcome other proposals.

Key Conference Themes:

  1. Researching Gender (application and transformation)
  2. Gender and Research (Theories and Practice)
  3. Gender Studies and Gender Practice
  4. Disciplining Gender Studies: Practical Realities from the Academy, Activism and Advocacy, including decolonising the curriculum
  5. Theorising Gender from the Global South
  6. Gender, Feminist, Women’s Organising for Change (Local and International Partnerships)
  7. Gender, Identity, Performance and Representation
  8. Gender and the State
  9. Gender and Peace building in Africa
  10. Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals
  11. Gender and Sexuality (Masculinities and Femininities)
  12. Women in African economies; how women are making a difference
  13. Identity Politics and Gender
  14. Young Activism
  15. Gender Based Violence within the Academy and Beyond
  16. Women writers as the voices of conscience
  17. Gender and Technology
  18. Gender, Aging and gerontology
  19. Family and Parenting in Africa
  20. Gender, Climate Change and Natural Resources Extraction
  21. Gender and Bioethics
  22. Gender and Contemporary Health Challenges
  23. Gender and Spirituality

The conference will present distinguished African and Africanist keynote speakers, award-winning films, inspirational performances and the opportunity to join pre-conference workshops and skills building sessions.


  • March 15, 2021 Submission of Abstracts (Individual) - Open
  • March 15, 2021 Submission of Abstracts (Panels) - Open


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