Prof. Joy Constance Kwesiga is an experienced academician, university administrator, a social development analyst with special focus on gender issues, a trainer and an activist.
After attaining her B.A. (Geog), she started her career in university administration, rising from the lowest rank to the level of Deputy Registrar at Makerere University. She directed her efforts to further education, achieving a first class postgraduate diploma in Public Administration, a Master’s degree in Higher and Further Education, a Ph.D in Education and Gender, and a host of short-courses. Moving into the academic arena, she served as Head of the Department of Women and Gender Studies, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and founding Head of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme – all at Makerere University. Joy Kwesiga is now Vice-Chancellor of Kabale University, formerly a community-founded private institution in south-western Uganda which was recently transformed into a Public University.
She has widely researched into the Ugandan society. Her involvement in both academic and activist work has widened her scope and exposure into the different areas of development, both at the local, national, African and international levels. She has widely published on education, gender studies and the African Women’s Movement. Her book on Access of Women to Higher Education in Africa is widely used as a reference on gender in education. She is also a co-author of the Book on the Women’s Movement in Africa, and an editor of several other pieces.
Joy Kwesiga has been involved in civil society work for a long time. She is a founder member of Action for Development (ACFODE) – a national women’s rights organization which particularly redirected the Women’s Movement in Uganda during the 19890s and 1990s. She has been a member of Forum for Women Educationalists (FAWE) – Ugandan Chapter. In 2017, she was elected to the Board of FAWE Africa. She was nominated by women’s NGOs as one of the Eminent Women of Uganda under whose forum, the Women’s Situation Room, worked towards peaceful elections in 2016. This group continues to achieve that goal. Joy Kwesiga has also served on many other education and research bodies including the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
In recognition of her research work she serves on vetting, review and editorial panels for research competitions and/or publications, including, OSSREA, the African Academy of Sciences, the African Journal of Health Sciences, the International Women’s Forum, the Uganda Journal, Teaching in Higher Education (UK), and The Uganda Journal of Management and Policy Studies. She is a member of many professional organizations, some of which she has led.
Joy Kwesiga has won many awards in recognition of her work, focusing on equity in education, promotion of girls’ education and women’s empowerment.