Attracting women into agricultural education: Constraints and best practice

The study focuses on women’s participation in higher agricultural education in four African countries. Barriers begin at secondary school where girls are less likely to take natural sciences, and negative perceptions of agriculture prevent girls and boys from perusing the subject. Women who select agriculture for higher studies received strong support from their families. Course selection in agriculture is highly gendered, along with participation in course activities. Challenges for women during studies were harassment, social pressure, lack of amenities and inadequate support of student mothers and pregnant students. There are some programmes addressing these barriers; however, effectiveness has been limited.
L’étude met l’accent sur la participation des femmes dans l’enseignement supérieur agricole dans quatre pays africains. Les obstacles commencent à l’école secondaire où les filles sont moins susceptibles d’opter pour les sciences naturelles, et les perceptions négatives de l’agriculture empêchent les filles et les garçons de s’intéresser à ce sujet. Les femmes qui choisissent l’agriculture pour les études supérieures ont reçu un grand soutien de leur famille. La sélection pour les cours en agronomie est très discriminatoire, ainsi que la participation à des activités des cours. Les défis pour les femmes durant les études ont été le harcèlement, la pression sociale, le manque d’équipements et un soutien insuffisant pour les mères étudiantes et les étudiantes enceintes. Il y a des programmes pour éliminer ces obstacles; cependant, l’efficacité a été limitée.
Constraints and best practice
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Printed resource

About the RUFORUM 2010 Biennal Conference
"The 2010 RUFORUM Biennial Conference was the second in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholders in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Information Systems"