African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) has announced the second group of GRASP (Gender Responsive Agriculture Systems Policy) scholarship members. The two-year career development program aims to create a pool of career-minded and self-confident, talented African women by leading policy changes to improve the livelihoods of African smallholder farmers, especially women.
The 50 Fellows from six Anglophone and Francophone African countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda and Senegal) hold positions in a variety of institutions, from government and education to NGOs and the private sector, with most working in the social sciences. All selected applicants have at least 10 years of experience in policy in agriculture and food systems at national, regional or continental level. These women, a significant number of whom (18) work in government roles, are well positioned to contribute to improved, evidence-based policy making, one of the program’s key objectives.
This year’s selection includes some Fellows from the same institutions as those in Group 1, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Labor Organization.
This has been praised as a positive step towards creating teams that can advocate for policy change within organizations or in specific policy areas.
With significant numbers of Members coming from Ethiopia and Madagascar (11 and 13 respectively), the aim is to create a pool of expertise among women who can support each other in influencing and promoting policy change.