Today was the last day of the meeting of professional African women in agriculture and natural resource management. Most of the participants hold PhDs from universities in Europe or North America and are in senior management positions. Except for three participants in their 20s, all are married with children. Given the multitude of challenges facing African women, I find it really miraculous that there are women of this caliber in such male-dominated fields. Most inspiring for me is that the participants were really committed to "giving back" in some way, either through their work or more informally by mentoring or volunteering. Unfortunately there wasn't an opportunity to discuss work/life issues; I would've liked to hear how they managed to balance academia and/or work with raising children and keeping husbands.
I'm really curious about the participants for similar meetings in other regions. There were about 20 people who came for this one, and there were several who couldn't make it - and West/Central Africa must have the fewest members worldwide just given the education stats.