International Women's Day 2024: Imagining a gender equal future


Woman cattle farmer in Togo. Picture (c) P. Bastiaensen (fao) 1997




This is the theme of International Women’s Day 2024 which WOAH Africa is celebrating today and every day and inviting you to join in with us. When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.

Ongoing research and partnerships between WOAH and its Members show us that there is still a long way to go to enable women’s empowerment in the animal health sector. Yet there are clear ways forward.

Woman poultry farmer in São Tomé and Principe. Picture (c) P. Bastiaensen (padp) 2002

Recent studies from Senegal and Togo show how all sorts of people and institutions (governments, veterinary statutory bodies, veterinary associations and paraprofessional associations, training institutions, employers, and livestock cooperatives, amongst others) can improve conditions for women’s engagement in the sector, leading to improved animal health overall.

Interviews with senior professionals in Africa (Nigeria and Namibia) show how women leaders are acting as role models to advance the fields of veterinary research and practice.



Laboratory results' analyses in São Tomé and Principe. Picture (c) P. Bastiaensen (padp) 2000

WOAH wants to help inspire gender equal futures.


To start accessing those futures, we can ask questions like:

  • If women and men had equal access to resources, how would livestock keeping be organised?
  • If care for animals were a core value in society, how would society support those who care for our animals?
  • If women’s needs are taken into account in animal health emergency preparedness and response, how will policy design and decision-making be adapted?

Imagine animal health communities free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

Where does gender equality matter in your work and how can you be part of the change?

You can ask these questions to animal health professionals you know or work with and start conversations in your communities about what these futures might look like.

Together, we can #InspireInclusion.

More information

Senegal and Togo

Still a minority : integration of women in the veterinary sector

February 28, 2024
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Windhoek, Namibia

"If you empower a woman, you empower the world” Interview with Dr Albertina Shilongo (Namibia)

March 07, 2024
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Jos, Nigeria

Empowering Women in Animal Health: A Conversation with Dr Maryam Muhammad on Gender and Leadership

August 10, 2023
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