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Celebrating Women in Science: Empowering Diversity and Innovations

On the 11th of February, we celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This holiday helps us recognise and appreciate all the work women and girls have done to enhance science. It reminds us that people should have equal treatment regardless of their gender. Women bring diversity, and with diversity, new and fresh perspectives occur.

Challenges, Initiatives and INCiTiS-FOOD Contribution

Female researchers, national science academies, students and graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, face discrimination, stereotypes, bias, lack of access to education and resources, and many other challenges while pursuing careers. In some regions, they earn only a fraction of what their male counterparts do: According to WEF (World Economic Forum), women’s average earnings are almost 40% less than those of men. It is important to offer solutions to these problems while supporting and encouraging women. A more inclusive environment that promotes gender equality in STEM education and workplaces can be created through programs, workshops and training. With the aim of providing such solutions, INCiTiS-FOOD is committed to transforming African food systems through collaborative living labs and a multi-actor approach across six countries in three African regions.

INCiTiS-FOOD, with its focus on African ground, highlights a concerning trend: the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering across the continent. Despite comprising over 50% of the population and dominating the workforce in many countries, women in Africa account for less than 20% of professionals in these fields. This disparity is particularly stark in leadership positions and advanced levels of education. In today’s rapidly evolving market, characterised by innovation and disruption, the inclusion of women in science and technology is paramount. 

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Highlighting the achievements of women and girls in science is not just about recognition — it’s about inspiring future generations. By showcasing female scientists and engineers as role models, we empower young girls to pursue their passions without constraints. Through media, awards, and recognition, we can encourage more women to enter STEM fields, ultimately leading to a more equitable and innovative society.

It is imperative to keep contributing to the UN‘s 5th Sustainable Development Goal Ensuring gender equality and Empowering Women. At the same time, it is imperative to keep providing women with the required knowledge to pursue careers in science or set up a business. Encouraging women to do so is essential for driving development and leveraging technology to enhance our communities.


The International Day of Women and Girls in Science serves as a reminder of how women and girls contribute to science while highlighting their persistent and slowly-changing challenges. Discrimination, stereotypes, and unequal access to resources are present in the professional path of female researchers, students, and professionals in STEM fields. However, collaborative efforts address these challenges and promote gender equality in agriculture and science. Celebrating, rewarding, and supporting the achievements of women in STEM can help create a brighter future with empowered females, where all individuals have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

INCiTiS-FOOD believes that together, we can achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of gender equality and empowerment of women while building more resilient and sustainable food systems.

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