Addressing the food security challenges of the 21st century has never been required as urgently as now, especially in light of the growing population in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the increasing effects of climate change that have made it more difficult to secure the food needs of its population in the coming years.
Scientific research plays an important role in contributing to socio-economic development. Over the past few years, many Arab nations have recognized the relevance and need to increase spending on scientific research. And spending has indeed increased. But it still remains much lower than that of developing countries. What is more, targeted effective programs are required to encourage the participation of talented women scientists in the field of scientific research in the MENA region. Their perspectives and contributions can play a key role in scientific advancement and improved socio-economic development.
During the Inception and Design Phase of the Young Arab Women Scientists Leadership Program - Tamkeen, ICBA will carry out a content analysis of leadership and innovation modules of agricultural science programs and a needs assessment of practicing women scientists in the region. After reviewing the needs of women scientists in the context of strengths and challenges in current programs, ICBA will create a new program targeting young Arab women scientists, which aims to develop their leadership and innovation skills. While the results of the needs assessment will be a driving force for this inception phase, perspectives of gender and Arab culture will be taken into consideration when designing the proposed program to ensure that it meets the needs of women scientists and is also culturally appropriate to the young Arab women who will participate in the program. At the conclusion of the inception phase, ICBA will propose a full program designed on the basis of the evidence and analysis gathered during this phase.