On 10 March 2022, we launched a report exploring the gender equality challenges in higher education across the world, and strategies for positive change. Read the report and watch the recording of our launch event below.

Global gender equality challenges 

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are incubators for the thought leaders and social leaders of the future. HEIs and systems where norms for gender equality are practised and modelled, and where the voices and ideas of women are valued and raised up, are powerful tools for accelerating progress towards the equality and empowerment of women and girls everywhere.

However, evidence shows that gender equality issues impact and are reflected in higher education (HE) systems worldwide – with unequal access to HE in many countries, fewer resources and opportunities available to women, the existence of violence against women affecting students and staff, and sustained underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in HEIs. Despite women succeeding academically, it is more challenging for women to succeed in their careers both within and outside academia following their studies. 

There is a critical need to address gender inequalities in higher education – requiring concerted efforts from governments, higher education oversight and funding bodies, HEIs and other partners. Action is required to transform discriminatory gender norms – such as unequal domestic burdens falling upon women and bias in assessment, recruitment and promotion – as well as to address the practical barriers that disproportionately affect women because of their place in society.

Access the report 

Our report provides an in-depth analysis of how gender inequality is reflected, reinforced and challenged in higher education worldwide. It examines relevant legal and policy frameworks and statistical data, as well as summarising academic research on the extent and consequences of gender inequalities in HE and the evidence for effective practice from research and programme implementation.

A compendium of global resources and data sources, illustrated by 17 in-depth case studies and with suggestions for evaluating and monitoring progress, is provided. Recommendations are grouped into 12 thematic areas.

Watch the launch event 

At our launch event on 10 March 2022, we shared the headlines from the report, and explored how the sector can work collectively to address the challenges of gender inequality, both in the UK and around the world. The event included a panel discussion with global higher education leaders:

  • Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia. CEO, Higher Health, South Africa
  • Maddalaine Ansell. Director – Education, British Council 
  • Tracy Bell-Reeves. Director of Programmes and Events, Advance HE
  • Alicia Herbert, OBE. Director of the Education, Gender and Equality Directorate (EdGE), Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office 
  • Dr Pratibha Jolly. Principal Investigator, GATI: Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions, Department of Science and Technology – India 
  • Dr Helen Mott. Research consultant

You can watch the recording of this 60 minute event below. We hope you find this valuable.

Find out more

If you're interested in this topic, please read our accompanying blogs: