Wielding a camera in a nation where suspicion and distrust pervades can be tough, Somali-Canadian journalist and videographer Nalayeh Hodan visited villages and shared tea and stories with strangers. And in a country where women continue to face immense socio-economic, cultural, and political challenges, she popularized the Somali hashtag #NaagIskaDhig, which loosely translates to #StandUpLikeAWoman.
For over a decade, Tanzania has sustained a relatively high economic growth of 6 to 7% a year, according to the World Bank. Yet high population growth and increasing urbanization have left 12 million Tanzanians living in extreme poverty, even as 800,000 young people enter the labor force annually. Gender disparities persist too, with women accounting for the highest proportion of people who have never attended school at all, according to the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics. Women were also least likely to be employed in the formal economy, whether in the public or private sectors.
But as a new research paper published in the Journal of Gender, Agriculture, and Food Security shows, there finally could be some good news. Using data collated from 40 African countries, the paper shows that the gender gap in African agricultural research has continued to close since 2008. The total number of women researchers increased from less than 9,000 in the year 2000 to more than 15,000 in 2014—an average of 24%. Southern Africa nations especially scored high with Lesotho and Namibia coming close to scoring gender parity. Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Chad scored low on the list.