The School of Women and Gender Studies (SWGS) is the oldest and biggest School of Gender Studies in Africa. It is located in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University. The SWGS was founded in 1991, as a Department of Women Studies, the first such department in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 1998, the Department of Women Studies changed its name to the Department of Women and Gender Studies, a reflection of the change in the academic focus to emphasize the relational nature of gender relations between males and females. In 2010 it was elevated to the School of Women and Gender Studies, to enable it grow departments focusing on the different expanding themes within Gender Studies, as well as to enable other units mainstream gender in their curricula. The School is at the forefront of academic and community initiatives to address gender and development issues within the university, other universities, and government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The School has also supported other universities in Africa establish gender centres in several universities, prominently in Cameroun, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya and currently Nigeria. +’,The Vision of the School is to be a centre for academic excellence in the discipline of women and gender studies at the local, national and international levels. Its Mission is to provide intellectual leadership for mainstreaming gender in all aspects of economic, political and social – cultural development.

Academic Programmes and activity: The vision and mission of the School is achieved through various programs and activities, including:

Academic Programmes and Activity at School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University

Through these Programs and activities, the School aims to: a) Train a cadre of gender analysts to catalyse gender transformation in decision-making and the policy formation; b) To deepen the scholarship/intellectual development of gender studies from an interdisciplinary perspective; c) Generate research on gender and development; d) Mainstream gender in the University curriculum; e) Conscientisation and advocacy through public lectures, seminars, workshops and mass media and; f) Promote networks and collaboration by linking scholars, policy makers, activists, extensions and field workers for the promotion of women in development activities and programmes.

Key activities the School is engaged:

  1. Teaching undergraduate and post graduates
  2. Research with several collaborators
  3. Support to the MoGLSD, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Ministry of Finance re Gender Equity Budgeting. Out of this MoFPED sponsored a course to mainstream gender responsive budgeting in all its programmes, which is currently beign addressed in the curriculum review
  4. Training 26 local governments in gender responsive planning and budgeting
  5. In partnership with Ministry of Local Government and UNDP, train Local Government Officials in Gender and Local Economic Development through its one year GLED Diploma
  6. Support to several partners local, national and international (CSOs, Universities and government MDAs)

Celebrating 30 years of Gender Studies: In 2021, The SWGS ( marked 30 years of Gender Studies. In celebration of this key milestone, an International Conference ( has been convened by the School from February 23rd to 25th 2022, to take stock of the contributions of Gender Studies in research, policy and practice in Uganda, Africa and globally. So far the conference has registered 482 abstracts and 492 interested participants from 35 countries globally. The conference locates the place of Gender and Gender Studies as pivotal in development processes in Uganda and Africa. The conference will be run in blended mode, with a number of renown key note speakers in the field of gender and development studies.