Editorial Chief: Jemimah M. Njuki, Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research and Impact Assessment

Special Issue Announcement » March 2017

Catalyzing and measuring women’s leadership and empowerment in African agricultural research and development

While female farmers are a vital force in Africa’s agriculture, agricultural research and higher education are disproportionately led by men. Only one in four agricultural researchers are female and even fewer – one in seven – of the leadership positions in African agricultural research institutions are held by women (Beintema and Di Marcantonio, 20101). Thus, while African women labor in fields across the continent, they remain underrepresented in leadership positions where priorities for agricultural research are set, resources are allocated and policy decisions are made.

This special issue focuses on the range of approaches to build the scientific and leadership capacities of women scientists, the outcomes of these interventions and methodologies for measuring women’s empowerment at this professional level. The papers discuss what has worked, not worked and make recommendations on capacity development and measurement. The volume builds on the work of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), which invests in African women scientists and institutions to deliver innovative gender responsive Agricultural Research and Development (ARD) solutions to tackle the biggest challenges facing African smallholder farmers. Since 2008, AWARD’s tailored career-development fellowships have equipped top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their science and leadership skills. More than 1000 African women scientists (465 fellows, 398 mentors and 297 mentees) from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia have participated in the program since it’s inception.

Editors Apollo Nkwake (A.Nkwake@cgiar.org)
Jemimah Njuki (editors@agrigender.net)

September 2017: Gender and Livestock in the Global South

Call for Papers

While women’s contributions to smallholder food production on farms and within households is increasingly recognized, the benefits that accrue to women from such contributions remain a matter of debate. In the case of livestock, two main gender issues can be identified. First, studies have shown that women tend to benefit from development programs focused on nutrition, while benefits of commercialization usually accrue to men. Second, livestock themselves have gendered connotations, with women more likely to be associated with the rearing of ‘small’ livestock whereas larger animals are usually within the domain of men. However, actually existing diversities in gendered experiences of livestock economies may challenge such neat divisions. There is a need therefore to understand how women could be utilizing and reconstructing existing development programs and cultural norms to link themselves with livestock economies in new and innovative ways.

This special issue seeks case studies of gender and small-scale livestock farming in contexts of the Global South which illuminate both how gender becomes useful to understanding inequalities in livestock-based livelihoods as well as strategies to ensure equitable livestock development. Given that smallholder livestock farming is increasingly being promoted as a valuable pathway to alleviating poverty and addressing food insecurity, a complex understanding of gender becomes significant for distributing the benefits of livestock within households and across communities.

Possible topics for special issue articles include:

  • Juxtaposing income and nutrition benefits of livestock
  • Links between crop and livestock farming
  • Women's and men’s work in livestock development programs
  • Transformations in pastoral communities due to livestock commercialization
  • Historical and geographical comparisons of gender and livestock economies
  • Gender analysis of government policies on livestock development

Papers for this special issue should be sent to both special issue editors at the emails provided above. Deadline for papers submission has passed. The special issue is scheduled to be published in September 2017. Additional information on the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security and guidelines for authors is available at http://www.agrigender.net/index.php

Inquiries and questions related to the special issue are welcome and should be addressed to the editor


Pratyusha Basu, pbasu@utep.edu, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso, USA.

Jemimah Njuki, editors@agrigender.net, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security, and Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research, and Impact Assessment, Nairobi, Kenya.
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