INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – #pressforprogress Spotlight

On the 8th of March, on International Women’s Day, iCRA is proud to share how trailblazers in gender equality – Hadiaratou Traoré and Dr Kadidiatou Bouare, press for progress in motivating and uniting friends and colleagues to think, act and be gender inclusive.

Both educators are participating in the IES4GIRE project in Mali, which aims to increase effectiveness and efficiency of integrated water resource management (IWRM).

iCRA together with its consortium partners, works with three universities and one technical institution to update and develop gender inclusive curriculums, strengthen capacities of training staff and create sustainable linkages with relevant partners in the region and beyond.

Ways to press for progress and inspire colleagues:

“To encourage my colleagues to think and act on gender, I urge them to treat women and girls in their classrooms the same as men. I encourage my colleagues to assist me in organizing activities dedicated to women and girls. This way, they understand gender issues better, are more sensitive to them and are better able to solve them when they arise.” Hadiaratou Traoré tells us.

With the support of the project and iCRA, I can encourage and boost the girls in my class to overcome their shyness and express themselves in class, go ahead and make a better choice regarding their future.”


Why is gender mainstreaming and integration so important in the #IES4GIRE project?


Traditionally, women do not always have the opportunity and receive higher education, let alone have the chance of partaking in paying it forward by becoming teachers or leaders with real decision making power to shape the future of the education offered and influence the local realities of Integrated Water Resource Management. The IES4GIRE project puts specific emphasis on changing that reality by, for example, offering fellowships to women to become active players in higher education on IWRM and by facilitating the development of new, gender sensitive curriculum and (master) programs.

“I show my colleagues that in the family, when the man and the woman are both working, the result and fulfillment is greater than when only the man or the woman alone has a financial income. This example is the same in a society, in a district in a service or in a State. The man and the woman are complementary and one must not go without the other.” explains Dr Kadidiatou Bouare

We asked what advice both educators have for other men and women who want to motivate their community and their colleagues to think about acting and be more inclusive in terms of gender? Where do we start?

“I will simply say that education begins with the family. This is the basis. Women’s sense of gender equality should be defined and explained so that women can take ownership and apply their knowledge in both their families and their work.” -Hadiaratou Traoré

“Know that women and men are all capable human beings and when you trust them, they assert themselves. Nothing beautiful and lasting can be achieved without the woman.” – Dr Kadidiatou Bouare

iCRA wishes to thank both Dr Kadidiatou Bouare and Hadiaratou Traoré for their inspiring words and work. iCRA is dedicated to play its part in facilitating women to be drivers of change and success in agriculture research, education and value chains – but also recognizes the challenges a lot of women face. It is necessary to provide women with more opportunities to be part of the conversation and to improve their capacities, so they can reach their full potential.

* This blog was developed with the support and vital insights of Mundie Salm & Sylvain Dardel