Strengthening mentoring partnerships for African women scientists in the agricultural research and development system in sub-Saharan Africa

The contribution of women to development is particularly important to the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa where women constitute a large proportion of smallholder farmers. Despite their important role, the participation of women in agricultural research, particularly at the leadership level, remains low. This paper explores the role of mentoring in increasing the pool of women in agricultural research using the case of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development program. The paper elaborates on evidence collected over a three-year period to evaluate program effectiveness, benefits accrued and key success factors. Results show that the program's structured approach has direct career benefits for mentors and mentees. Furthermore, the program has proven effective in increasing gender responsiveness for mentors, particularly males, increasing their probability of serving as champions within institutions. Four discrete factors for successful mentoring were identified: commitment, shared research interests, proximity and personality. The paper concludes with recommendations for program design.

Issue Date:
Apr 01 2017
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Not assigned
Published in:
Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security (Agri-Gender), Volume 02, Issue 1
Page range:

 Record created 2017-08-23, last modified 2018-01-23

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