Choosing to challenge

International Women’s Day

Dear Colleagues around the World, 

Today is International Women’s Day – an annual celebration to mark the accomplishments of women but also to address persisting inequalities that continue to afflict women around the world – inequalities that exist in the home, on the street, and in the workplace.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Choosing to challenge.” It is a reminder that we – men and women – are all obligated to speak up and speak out against inequality when we see it. Only if we do this, can we confront and overcome the injustices that inhibit women from fulfilling their potential to live meaningful lives and contribute to society.

CIP has long been focused on the challenges confront women – in the field and the workplace

  • The Triple-S scaling initiative in Ghana trained 22,000 women in this easy-to-use technology to preserve sweetpotato seed for future growing seasons. 
  • The SUSTAIN program worked with government and NGOs in Mozambique to reach more than 200,000 female caregivers with nutritional information about orange-fleshed sweetpotato.
  • Inside CIP, we prioritize diversity across the organization: more than 40% of our personnel are women, including in operations, science leadershipsenior management and the board of trustees.
  • The RTB Toolbox for seed systems and G+ Tools include ways of specifically promoting gender-responsiveness, boosting the incomes and food security of men and women. 

And these are just four of many examples of our work in support of women and families and small farming communities everywhere. 

At CIP, we choose to challenge” in all our work: for gender equality, for inclusive growth, for improving nutrition, and for creating more sustainable food systems to give access and opportunity to everyone. We seek diversity in our work force, offer opportunities for women to grow professionally, and foster a culture of respect that promotes fairness and mutual support.  

We have come a long way since the UN first declared International Women’s Day in 1975. But there is much work still to be done.  

We will continue to challenge inequality in all we dowould like to thank everyone for their support and contributions to this cause.

Barbara H. Wells
Director General, International Potato Center