The world celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, 2023, recognizing the great contributions that women and girls have made to science over time, even though they remain woefully underrepresented in the field.
According to data from UNESCO, women make up only one third of researchers worldwide. This disparity is likely to be greater in Africa due to systemic challenges that force girls to drop out of school, therefore making them less likely to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Food systems transformation is only possible with the equitable participation of women and girls in all fields across the food and agriculture sector, bringing their ideas, knowledge, and skills to craft solutions to challenges such as food insecurity and malnutrition, climate change, and global disruptions including war and conflict.
The African Food Fellowship is proud to count many women scientists among its Fellows, who continue to make great strides in their chosen fields and shine a bright light for girls following in their footsteps. They have broken through the barriers that keep women out of STEM careers and are showing the world what’s possible when girls are given the same education and job opportunities as boys. In the eshots below, they share what drew them to science, what some of their biggest achievements are, and leave words of encouragement for future girl scientists.