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.

The African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) has opened the Call for the Gender Responsive Agriculture Systems Policy (GRASP) Fellowship to African female policymakers in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

An initiative of AWARD funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the GRASP Fellowship is fostering policy change across regional, sub-regional and national levels for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Through the GRASP Fellowship, AWARD seeks to grow a pool of confident, capable, and influential African women to lead policy changes to improve African women and men’s smallholders’ livelihoods.

We know that well-designed agricultural policies can close the gender gap in agriculture and rural labor markets, generate gains in agricultural output and enhance food security. The GRASP Fellowship offers an opportunity to advance policy reforms that can enable women and men smallholders to participate equally and benefit from opportunities in the agricultural sector. ~ Dr. Susan Kaaria, Director, AWARD

This Call follows the successful inaugural Call that targeted Malawi, Zambia, and Nigeria and closed on June 30, 2022. The move to expand the Fellowship to female applicants from Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda builds on AWARD’s successful initiatives to increase gender-responsive agricultural innovation systems and foster equitable food systems.

Selected participants, known as AWARD Policy Fellows, will get customized training in mentoring, leadership, negotiation skills, and integrating gender in policy. The AWARD Policy Fellows will sharpen their skills to design and implement gender-responsive policies, analyze policies from a gender perspective, foster innovative policy-oriented projects, and lead policy processes.

The selection of AWARD Policy Fellows will include assessing their experience and leadership potential in gender, agriculture, and food systems policy development. Applicants must have at least 10 years of experience in the policy field in agriculture and food systems at national, regional, or continental levels. Each Fellow will be paired with a mentor- a senior policy professional, and a mentee- a junior policy professional.

The Call for applications opens on July 20, 2022, and closes on August 31, 2022, at 2359 hours EAT. Application is strictly through the online portal on the AWARD website. Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted.

During the application period, AWARD will hold an interactive information webinar featuring gender, agriculture, and food systems policy experts. The information webinar scheduled for August 4, 2022, will discuss the GRASP Fellowship process and expectations while highlighting the transformative potential of gender-responsive agricultural policies. More details about the webinar will be announced on the AWARD website.

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

Notes to editors

About the GRASP Fellowship
The Gender Responsive Agriculture Systems Policy (GRASP) Fellowship was announced at the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021. The Fellowship is a three-year non-residential career development program targeting African women interested in policymaking and working in agriculture and food systems. The GRASP Fellowship is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by AWARD.

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) works toward inclusive, agriculture-driven prosperity for Africa by strengthening the production and dissemination of more gender-responsive agricultural research and innovation. We invest in African scientists, research institutions, and agribusinesses so that they can deliver agricultural innovations that better respond to the needs and priorities of a diversity of women and men across Africa’s agricultural value chains.