Recognizing women in science

recognizing women in science1To commemorate the United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February (#womeninscience), the work of women scientists across the CGIAR network is being showcased.

A set of profiles about women scientists in the CGIAR have been prepared as part of efforts to both engage and encourage greater participation of women and girls in the fields of science and technology. More profiles will be added over time by the CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network in the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8 March.

Among the scientists’ profiled is Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel, a researcher with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). She had this to say about involving women farmers in research:

“Traditionally women don’t participate much in community decision-making. It’s very difficult to involve them; you really need to insist on having workshops or focus groups specifically with women and really explain clearly the reasons for that to local leaders. So it is feasible, but you really need to make an extra effort to have women participate. It’s often difficult for a number of reasons which limit their participation. On the one hand, women have very limited time. They are overloaded with work; they work much more than men in the field, so it’s difficult for them to take a few hours out of their daily activities. On the other hand, they often have less education, they are shy, or they refuse to speak in public, so it’s not so easy to motivate them to come and participate in this type of community meeting. But it is feasible.”

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Kate Langford

Kate Langford is a consultant writer with close to 20 years’ experience in communicating natural resource, environmental and land management issues for various government and non-government organizations. She previously worked as Communications Specialist for the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya and has worked in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Scientific Communication.

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