Professor Joy Constance Kwesiga (PhD, London) is an experienced academician, University Administrator and Social Development Analyst and a renowned gender and Women advocate. She has had an enviable privilege of combining academic work with women’s rights activist work. She has been a Professor of Gender Studies and the Vice-Chancellor of Kabale University since November 2005 to date. She oversaw the transformation of Kabale University from a private community University to a Public University. Even when Kabale University was a private University, she effectively steered it to attain a University Charter in 2014. Previously, Professor Kwesiga served as the founding Head of the Department of Women and Gender Studies at Makerere University. She then became the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University. Professor Kwesiga also was the founding Head of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme – at Makerere University where she later became the First Deputy Academic Registrar in the Gender Mainstreaming Division of the Academic Registrar’s Department at Makerere University.
Joy Kwesiga was a founder member of Action for Development (ACFODE) – a national women’s rights organization which redirected the Women’s Movement in Uganda during the 1980s and 1990s. She co-founded a national women rights body (Action for Development) and actively promoted gender equity in education through organisations such as Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Uganda Association of University Women, and African Women in Research and Development (AAWORD). She is s also a founding member of KOMAZA (2006) – a Civil Society Organisation with headquarters in Kabale, with the goal of empowering communities, especially girls and women, and other disadvantaged members of society.
She is a member of the Board of FAWE (Africa) and also a member of the Women’s Situation Room and the Eminent Women of Uganda – which worked towards peaceful elections during 2016 General Elections in Uganda. This group continues to work to achieve that goal. Joy Kwesiga has served on many education and research bodies, including The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, OSSREA, the African Academy of Sciences, the International Women’s Forum, the Uganda Journal, Teaching in Higher Education (UK), and The Uganda Journal of Management and Policy Studies.
Professor Kwesiga has B.A. (University of East Africa a first class postgraduate diploma in Public Administration (Institute of Public Administration-IPA), a Master’s degree in Higher and Further Education (London) and a Ph.D in Higher Education (London). She has widely researched into the Ugandan society, and has published on education, gender studies and the African Women’s Movement. She is a member of the Executive Committees of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the Uganda National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), and the Uganda Vice-Chancellors’ Forum (UVCF).
Joy Kwesiga has won many awards in recognition of her work, focusing on equity in education, promotion of girls’ education and the women’s empowerment.