Empowered women empowering others

Empowered women empowering others

Today marks an international celebration to remind us about the achievements of women around the globe in all facets of society.

Immaculée Nyirahabimana is a farmer from Cyuve district. The area is one of Rwanda’s most productive agricultural regions. Photo by: Stefanie Neno / CIAT


At CIAT, female researchers have been working to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in developing countries.

It could be to help farmers have high yields while adapting to climate change.

It could be to help end malnutrition in the only region in the world where it is rising.

Or it could be to help other women, who do most of the farming, get access to the same resources as men.

For International Women’s Day, CIAT presents a series of opinion pieces where some of its female researchers share their views and stories about how they are empowering women and men in Africa, Asia and Latin America:

My dream for Africa: When women can be more than breadwinners. Eileen Nchanji argues that closing the gender gap in agriculture means involving both women and men in the process. She relates the experience of Rwanda, the fourth best country in gender parity, and an initiative that uses mobile technology to enable female farmers to own cash but also share money with their spouses.

I want to end malnutrition in Africa. That’s why I’m turning to big data and algorithms. Mercy Lung’aho says that leaving no one behind is the only way to put a stop to malnutrition in Africa. She explains why the Nutrition Early Warning System, or NEWS, is key to attaining this goal.

To fellow African youth, I tell you this: Farming is not your last option. Ivy Kinyua tells that agriculture can be a lucrative career for young people in Africa, where the preference is to get white collar jobs in cities instead of following the footsteps of their parents and taking up farming. She believes that the education sector will be instrumental to bring that change.

Private sector: A powerful ally toward climate change adaptation. Tiffany Talsma describes how she and her colleagues collaborate with Mondelez and the coffee & climate global initiative to enable cocoa farmers in Indonesia, the biggest cocoa producer outside West Africa, and coffee growers in Vietnam, the world’s largest coffee producer per hectare, become ready for the climate of the future.

The valuable lessons I learned from farmers. Ana Maria Loboguerrero notes that there is so much that scientists can learn from farmers. Scientists, she suggests, need to adopt “public speak” to ensure the success of their innovative solutions.

The proudest moments of my life: To see my science in practice. Marcela Quintero relates her experience working with the government of Peru to draft a landmark law on payment for ecosystem services, as well as with local organizations in a Colombian region affected by a half-century conflict to address deforestation through an innovative farming system.

For a compilation of op-eds by CIAT scientists and experts on Medium, head to CIAT Insights. Share them with your friends and colleagues at partner organizations. And if you appreciate the articles, give them some claps (up to 50 if you like).