In the pursuit of equality for women plant breeders around the world

Valladares García AP, Wijerathna-Yapa A, Mishra S, Or-Rashid H, Nehra M, Ramtekey V, Ndah R, Magar MM, Opondo D, Sasha, Kumar S, Swati, Tenesi T, Bentley AR and Basnet BJ


The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UNESCO, 2021) indicates that only 33.3% of researchers around the world are women. As in many other scientific fields, women have braved the male-dominated world and contributed equally to the development of plant breeding. This article was conceptualized as a project from the CIMMYT’s “Basic Wheat Improvement Course 2022” to open the conversation on how the cultural norms and community values had led to a tangible inequality in representation in plant breeding. We also aimed to address ways to deal with these barriers and to continue to encourage and support women in this field. In this report we highlight the findings from a series of interviews with female scientists working in plant breeding and synthesize the recommendations.