By Comunicaciones

February, 2023-. Dr. Barbara McClintock went down in history for being the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine (1983) at the age of 81, a milestone also because she did not have to share the award with other colleagues. Graduated from Cornell University in 1927, the scientist’s work, focused on mobile genetic elements present in corn, allowed her to make innovative discoveries that were not recognized until much later.

Looking back through history, the need to highlight the fundamental role that women have played in the field of science and technology becomes more and more evident. It is for this reason that FONTAGRO reaffirms its commitment to promote the visibility of the work carried out by women scientists. Recognizing this challenge, and as a first step, a space for dialogue was provided for women scientists from the region to discuss the topic.

The webinar, called “Women in Science: Latin American Perspectives“, allowed people from all over the region to learn more about the feelings of the outstanding scientists Martha Marina Bolaños and Mónica Betancourt from Colombia, Livia Negri from Argentina and Maika Barría, from Panama. The event was led by Dr. Eugenia Saini, Executive Secretary of FONTAGRO.

All the participants highlighted the progress that the region has made in terms of equity, however, they recognized the gaps they had to overcome and the existing challenges, calling on girls and women who are starting out in the sciences to remain inspired to achieve success in their fields of interest.

Research has shown that diverse and equitable teams tend to be more innovative and produce stronger results. UN Women already emphasizes that the contribution of women is indispensable to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In this sense, FONTAGRO recognizes the importance of having truly inclusive research teams and the importance of educating on gender issues, as well as having policies related to the subject.

Achieving this includes advocating for equitable and accessible education for all, supporting women’s access to resources and funding, and encouraging the representation of women in leadership positions.

Similarly, work must be done to change perceptions and gender stereotypes in science, so that girls and women have equal access to opportunities and resources. FONTAGRO will make an effort to communicate the contribution of women scientists working on projects, thus promoting their work and contributions to the development of the region.




FONTAGRO was created 1998 with the purpose of promoting the increase of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and the reduction of poverty in the region. The objective of FONTAGRO is to establish itself as a sustainable financing mechanism for the development of agricultural technology and innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean and Spain, and to establish a forum for the discussion of priority topics of technological innovation. The member countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. In the last 21 years 167 regional agricultural innovation platforms have been co-financed for an amount of US $ 124 million, which has reached 452 institutions and 33 countries worldwide.