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Gender in Research

Focus on Gender

SMIL incorporates gender considertaions into all participating projects to ensure the greatest overall impact of research. Each proposal submitted to SMIL is expected to describe the gender-related activities with the research team anticipates encountering, how they will be addressed and how projects will promote equitable participation by women. All projects have gender implications, but some will require greater attention than others. In particular, those that are closer to the delivery of new technologies, knowledge, production systems or products.

Gender roles in sorghum production, processing and utilization in Ethiopia

SMIL commissioned a gender study to assess gender roles, sorghum production and utilization by region in Ethiopia. The regional multi-disciplinary research teams implemented village-level data collection in six different regions using focus group interviews and rapid rural appraisals. The data from those interviews was aggregated into individual regional reports.

Research Projects and News

  • Dr. Ndjido Kane
    We have to take the needs of women into account with our breeding programs and training. In rural areas of Senegal, women are a large portion of farmers, but they are also scientists. We integrate gender and youth issues into SMIL projects.
    Dr. Ndjido Kane
    SMIL Country Coordinator - Senegal
  • Dr. Bettina Haussmann
    Women really took ownership in learning from incubation centers. The women were very generous to later share their knowledge with other women and spread the word and impact of the project. It shows if we follow approaches that develop ownership, they are empowered to take things to a different level.
    Dr. Bettina Haussmann
    SMIL External Advisory Board Member
  • Dr. Ludger Herrmann
    Women very often do not have access to resources or the right to own land. As a result, women normally get the sites that are most remote. Women have to walk long distances in order to come to the fields. At the beginning of the seasons, they first have to work in the fields of the man, because the man is the one who is responsible for feeding the family. Therefore this technology developed through SMIL is very important as the remote sites get delayed and are difficult to get to. Seed ball technology is a fit for local resources because it is affordable, everybody can do it, and there's not a lot of teaching behind it, except for the depths of sowing.
    Dr. Ludger Herrmann
    SMIL Principle Investigator
  • Etaferahu Etu
    When I joined the institute, I was one of the few women out of over 100 scientists, so I was always look for other women and learn from their strengths. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to come and study in the U.S. under SMIL.
    Etaferahu Etu
    SMIL Student Researcher
  • Dr. Tesfaye Mengiste
    When you go to various institutions you don't see a lot of female scientists. There is a major gap. I think the problem starts earlier on, at the college level. Addressing that problem would be giving women opportunities and would be exciting and wonderful. I'm excited to see a lot of young people who embrace the opportunities through SMIL.
    Dr. Tesfaye Mengiste
    SMIL Principle Investigator
  • Dr. Tesfaye Mengiste
    Working with youth means a great deal to me personally because it allows me to use my skills in research to train people. There is nothing more exciting than training people. The next generation of scientists that go and do research contribute to the development of countries everywhere.
    Dr. Tesfaye Mengiste
    SMIL Principle Investigator
  • Nat Bascom
    Many of SMIL’s young professionals move through a career to a ministerial level or head of an agriculture institution. We want to help these young leaders have a bright future in their particular countries. Not to mention the energy, fresh ideas and the go-getting attitude a cohort of young professionals brings.
    Nat Bascom
    SMIL Assistant Director