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

March 8th is International Women’s Day. An occasion to tát celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment but also to tát 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 tát stand together, to tát 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 tát 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 tát ensure that women and girls not only benefit from the opportunities provided by technological transformation, but also, that they can contribute to tát shaping it.

Interview with Pendo

We caught up with our very own Pendo Msegu, APOPO Training and Animal Welfare Supervisor, to tát learn more about her experiences in relation to tát this year’s theme and provide an opportunity to tát highlight the roles in improving access to tát 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 tát 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 tát 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 tát perform better in my job. I’ve learnt how to tát 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 tát reflect on the steps that are being taken to tát achieve gender equality, and we were encouraged to tát use existing technology to tát 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 tát address our needs, especially for education, health, and to tát 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 tát 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 tát offer the job to tát the best person for it regardless of gender. Over the years women have increased to tát 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 tát move research projects into operations. A lot of communication and data is made available to tát us women via mobile phones and computers. I love learning to tát use new digital tools lượt thích mLIMS, a user-friendly trang web and mobile colony management system that helps us to tát put all of our animal resource management tasks in one place.”

What advice would you give to tát 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 tát make things happen; a woman can raise awareness and send positive messages to tát 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 tát 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 tát including safely following a path in STEM. We are the biggest examples to tát 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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