Developing countries: Kenya Strengthens Women’s Research Skills

Image by Mckay Savage

Kenya is one of the African countries that has been committed to supporting women research and leadership skills.

Recently, the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) made available a  third round of funds and called on women to take advantage of the research funding of US$33,900 for a period not exceeding two years.

According to NCST secretary, Shaukat Abulrazak, it is an “additional strategy to enhance women’s participation in science, technology and innovation”.

Abulrazak said there are other programmes like Research and Innovations grants, Post-Doctoral research grants and Postgraduate research grants, where women are also beneficiaries.

The NCST is committed to “gender mainstreaming in all its programmes and ensures that in the award of these grants, women get at least 30%,” he said.

Studies have shown that by strengthening the research skills of women in science, it will help to enhance their contribution to poverty alleviation and food security.

The support of Kenya to women’s participation in science was also seen in the 2010 award for African women in Agriculture Research and Development, where 11 out of 60 women agricultural scientists were Kenyans.

“This will also debunk the myth that qualified African women researchers aren’t there-an excuse that’s often used to justify why women are not hired or promoted equitably within  research institutions, universities and corporations” said Vicki Wilde, Director of Gender and Diversity programme in Narobi, Kenya during the 2010 Agriculture Research and Development Award project.

African countries still have much to do in empowering and supporting their women’s research skills. To improve the economy system, food security, educational system and much more, women participation in science needs to be supported.

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