Coffee, chat and climate: International Women's Day 2021

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This International Women’s Day, join Kitty, Louise and Rebecca for a coffee break, where they chat about agriculture in Africa and the role of women in innovation.

In recognition of International Women’s Day 2021, Louise O. Fresco, Kitty van der Heijden and Rebecca Sarku chatted over a virtual coffee about agriculture in Africa and the role of women in innovation.

They discuss a wide range of topics, from the importance of the co-creation of information and inclusivity in innovation, through systems-thinking and women’s creativity, to their wishes for challenging gender bias in the coming years.

CCAFS, Wageningen University & Research and the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality have collaborated on a number of recent projects, including a series of virtual dialogues on accelerating climate adaptation across Africa for the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit.

Further collaborations between CCAFS and Wageningen include dialogues for the UN Food Systems Summit and the pre-COP26 events in Milan, and CCAFS’ work is kindly supported by the Netherlands in an important year for climate diplomacy. Subscribe to the CCAFS newsletter for regular updates.

You can read some of Kitty, Louise and Rebecca’s wishes and messages below, and watch the whole chat over a cup of coffee anytime.

“We need to be gender-sensitive across the world: in the technology you use, whether it’s solar power or digitalization; also in the institutional setting in which we work, as women often don’t have land tenure rights and agricultural extension services are male dominated. But also in terms of finance, getting a microinsurance scheme, for example; women often don’t have a bank account or a collateral. These are the women from a poverty perspective that I want to reach with locally relevant adaptive solutions”.

Kitty van der Heijden, Director-General for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

“I’d really like to see the involvement of women at various stages. Women are innovative in their own way, women can spread information, women can adapt the information to their own context beyond your wildest imagination. … In the coming years I hope and I look forward to seeing more women in the food, agriculture, climate sector driving the force”.

Rebecca Sarku, PhD researcher at Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

“It’s absolutely essential for the future that we tackle food and agriculture issues in the largest possible way, in a climate context, and involve women, both as the creative brains and as the first beneficiaries”.

Louise O. Fresco, the President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

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