African Women Scientists' COVID-Related Experiences: Reflecting on the Challenges and Suggesting Ways Forward

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Babalola, O.O
Alaribe, S.C.
Olatunji, O.A.
Bigambo, P.N
Babalola, S.S.
Amoo, A.E.
Kutu, M.O.
Katoti, I.
Mufhandu, H.T.
Imarfidor, H.O.
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Michigan State University Press, Alliance for African Partnership Perspectives, Volume 1, 2021: African Universities and the COVID-19 Pandemic, pp. 89-100 (Article)
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the traditional gender power inequalities faced by women daily and has left humanity sad and overwhelmed with fear. Before our very eyes, most countries are confused and frequently shutting down outdoor activities such as schools, colleges, universities, places of worship, and markets, leaving people with no choice but to work from home. The situation has particularly adversely affected the Women Scientists at the forefront of discoveries and innovations through science. This article reveals the experiences and challenges faced by Women Scientists due to the pandemic outbreak, more especially burdened with additional roles of taking care of others besides themselves. Furthermore, the work reflects how African women can be encouraged to enter and remain in their scientific careers. African female scientists make up approximately 31 percent of researchers on the continent. They, therefore, have critical roles in Africa's development. The review suggests various ways in which African governments, international organizations, African universities, and communities could develop programs and initiatives to address multiple issues raised so that women could pursue careers in the sciences—and remain in these careers to advance development on the continent.
Africa, COVID-19 pandemic, Women Scientists, gender