Mainstreaming gender in AVU programs
In its first ten years, none of the academic programs or administrative practices of the African Virtual University (AVU) focused on gender as a separate issue. Nonetheless, the AVU was relatively successful in attracting female students and did have some policies that were gender sensitive. While some aspects of gender mainstreaming were already part of the AVU’s programs with some individual staff members, of both sexes, being knowledgeable about and supportive of gender issues, it was necessary to develop a more systematic incorporation of gender mainstreaming. Under the terms of a grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for 2005-2008, the AVU was mandated to systematically mainstream gender into its operations and programs. The AVU therefore developed a gender policy for mainstreaming gender into its activities (AVU 2008).