July 17, 2024

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New fellowship for Rwandan women aims to improve agricultural policy through gender equality

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) has opened the Call for the second Cohort of its Gender Responsive Agriculture Systems Policy (GRASP) Fellowship to women who are citizen of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda and Senegal. 

An initiative of AWARD funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the highly competitive GRASP Fellowship is an immersive three-year career development program targeting mid-career African women in the policy field to catalyze the design and implementation of gender-responsive agricultural policies across Africa.

Successful applicants, known as AWARD Policy Fellows, get customized training in mentoring, leadership, negotiation skills, and gender integration in policy and agriculture. 

The inaugural Cohort, announced in December 2022, comprises 49 women drawn from diverse organizations including the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies across six countries.

“The GRASP Fellowship promises to prepare me to make a difference in my country by helping fishing communities to develop resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change shocks”  Carolyn Munthali, Principal Fisheries Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Malawi, 2022 AWARD Policy Fellow

Effective policies are critical if research innovations are to provide gender-inclusive, sustainable solutions for Africa to transform its agriculture and feed its growing population. The guidelines for country implementation of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) under the Malabo declaration highlight the need for agricultural policies that will facilitate stakeholder engagement and inclusive, equitable agricultural growth. Such policies require careful interrogation of the policy processes from decisions to actions.

“To develop and refine policy interventions for women and other marginalized groups involved in livestock rearing, we must better understand the roles they play in livestock production and what interventions work best to empower them.” Sylvia Harrison Ng’andu, Lecturer, University of Zambia, 2022 AWARD Policy Fellow 

The AWARD Policy Fellows are identified through a competitive selection process that includes assessing their experience and leadership potential in gender, agriculture, food systems, and policy development. The AWARD Policy Fellows will sharpen their skills to foster innovative policy-oriented projects, and lead policy processes. They will also receive catalytic funding to design and deploy innovative gender-responsive policy projects.

The Call for applications opens on February 13, 2023, and closes on April 12, 2023, at 2359 hours EAT. Application is strictly through the online portal on the AWARD website. Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted.

Download the GRASP Fellowship brochure for more details about it and its implementation.

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