international women's day is an occasion to make more towards achieving gender equality

March 8th is International Women’s Day. An occasion to lớn celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment but also to lớn strive for a greater momentum towards gender equality worldwide. Women’s day does not only recognize the extraordinary acts of women but encourages us all, to lớn stand together, to lớn advance gender equality around the world.

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This year, staff from APOPO in Tanzania, joined other women of Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) as well as wider Morogoro residents, to lớn honor International Women’s Day in Gairo with District Commissioner of Mvomero Hon. Judith Nguli. The theme for the day and the sự kiện was “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.” The United Nations (UN) has found that bringing women into technology results in more creative solutions and has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality. This year’s theme aims to lớn ensure that women and girls not only benefit from the opportunities provided by technological transformation, but also, that they can contribute to lớn shaping it.

Interview with Pendo

We caught up with our very own Pendo Msegu, APOPO Training and Animal Welfare Supervisor, to lớn learn more about her experiences in relation to lớn this year’s theme and provide an opportunity to lớn highlight the roles in improving access to lớn digital tools. Pendo started out at APOPO as a Data Entry Clerk 14 years ago where she learnt the importance of data and what it can tell us about a rat’s performance and how it informs policy on training. Her love of animals and interest in the African giant pouched rats moved her to lớn a new position training mine detection rats, and from năm ngoái, she is also serving as the Training and Animal Welfare Supervisor at APOPO’s Training Center in Morogoro, Tanzania.

How does technology help you with your daily tasks?

“We need to lớn value ourselves as women; we are capable and can keep up with the pace of technological change. I am constantly learning new things in order to lớn perform better in my job. I’ve learnt how to lớn use several computer programs that help with data entry and keeping track of the rat’s progress.Technology also assists má with planning, implementation, and timely reporting of my duties.”

What did you take away from the Women’s Day speeches?

“It was a memorable occasion, not only for má, but for all of the APOPO women who took part. We had the opportunity as women to lớn reflect on the steps that are being taken to lớn achieve gender equality, and we were encouraged to lớn use existing technology to lớn increase our knowledge, creativity, and skills at work. We shared stories about how technology, such as the positive use of digital tools and services to lớn address our needs, especially for education, health, and to lớn help us improve our social and economic standing.”

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Is there a links between the 2023 Women’s Day theme and what you tự at APOPO?

“The rat detection technology itself is a unique concept; the minds behind it have innovated a fast and cost-effective solution to lớn save human lives. There was a time when I was one of just a few female trainers at APOPO but I have seen how APOPO strives to lớn offer the job to lớn the best person for it regardless of gender. Over the years women have increased to lớn 40% of the staff numbers here in Morogoro. Furthermore, we have a woman as the Head of Training and Innovation, Dr. Cindy Fast, who oversees all projects and innovations at the Morogoro Center. Our Quality Assurance officer is a woman, Judy Karue. Women are also leading our new research projects. Dr. Izzy Szott and Dr. Danielle Giangrasso, who are using their skills and creativity to lớn move research projects into operations. A lot of communication and data is made available to lớn us women via mobile phones and computers. I love learning to lớn use new digital tools lượt thích mLIMS, a user-friendly trang web and mobile colony management system that helps us to lớn put all of our animal resource management tasks in one place.”

What advice would you give to lớn women, or the world in general?

“A woman plays an important role in the community, and any progress toward success begins with women. We need the opportunity to lớn make things happen; a woman can raise awareness and send positive messages to lớn her children and the youth in general. When women and girls are left out of tech and innovation spaces, those digital tools may fail to lớn meet their needs. Women are a minority in both STEM education and careers. We must fight this underrepresentation that is influenced by stereotypes and show our girls that they can tự anything they want to lớn including safely following a path in STEM. We are the biggest examples to lớn them!”


APOPO employs some amazing women in our programs. Often these women challenge traditional stereotypes and become voices for change in their own communities.

Support APOPO in honor of #IWD2023. 

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