There continues to be a significant gender imbalance within agriculture in Ireland with more than 90pc of farm holders being men. The latest available data indicates that farms with a sole female farm holder registered on my Department of Agriculture's client database accounted for 13pc of farms; 10pc of eligible land; and 8pc of payments. Only 3.8pc of farms are registered in joint female/male names.
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.