Enhancing women’s participation in agricultural research in developing countries can be an effective strategy for making agricultural research and development (R&D) systems more gender-aware. This chapter reviews the evidence on the trends in women’s participation in agricultural research with more detailed analysis of Sub-Saharan Africa, for which more detailed information is available. The author makes use of the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative, which is one of the few sex-disaggregated data sources on agricultural researchers in developing countries. In developing countries, less than one out of four researchers is a woman, although large differences exist across countries. The share of women employed in agricultural research and development has been increasing in most countries, but their share disproportionately declines on the higher rungs of the career ladder. The chapter summarizes the various general human resource challenges in agricultural R&D that developing countries face, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the challenges women face prior to and during their science careers. In addition to reviewing important data, the author makes an argument for why increased participation of women in science is important in the developing world.
- Agricultural research and development (R & D)
- Science and technology (S & T)
- Agricultural research staff
- Female participation
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To facilitate cohesion in the collection of such statistics, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) developed a tool kit on gender indicators in science, engineering, and technology, which outlines the issues and provides theoretical and methodological frameworks and guidelines, including a number of case studies (Huyer and Westholm 2007).
ASTI comprises a large network of national, regional, and international partners, managed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). For more information see www.asti.cgiar.org.
By way of comparison, the share of women in the total number of scientists employed at the 15 centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) was 26 percent in 2008; an increase from the 20 percent in 2003 (Meinzen-Dick et al. 2011). The most recent UNESCO report shows that, in the 89 countries for which data were available, women account for an average of 27 percent of the total number of scientists, measured in head counts (UIS 2006).
The Women and Science Group of the European Union (EU), in collaboration with Eurostat and the national representatives of the Helsinki Group, developed a system of internationally comparable, sex-disaggregated science indicators. The group has published a series of reports under the title She Figures (EC 2009b).
AWARD, managed by the Gender and Diversity (G&D) Program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), offers competitive two-year fellowships focusing on building capacity in science, mentoring, and leadership to high-performing female African scientists (see http://awardfellowships.org/).
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Parts of this chapter are revised sections from Beintema and Di Marcantonio (2010). The underlying datasets on which these reports were based were developed through (1) a comprehensive survey on sex-disaggregated capacity indicators conducted in 19 countries during 2008 as part as a partnership between ASTI and the African Women for Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) program; (2) primary survey rounds on investment and human resources trends datasets conducted in 32 African countries during 2001–2003 and 2009–2010; and (3) survey results for various Asian and Latin American countries for earlier years. “The data for Sub-Saharan Africa have been updated to 2011 and will be released around mid-2014. The main findings and conclusions of this chapter, however, remained valid.”
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Beintema, N. (2014). Enhancing Female Participation in Agricultural Research and Development: Rationale and Evidence. In: Quisumbing, A., Meinzen-Dick, R., Raney, T., Croppenstedt, A., Behrman, J., Peterman, A. (eds) Gender in Agriculture. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8616-4_16
Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht
Print ISBN: 978-94-017-8615-7
Online ISBN: 978-94-017-8616-4