How does Africa become your second home? Is it an advantage to be a female scientist in Africa? These questions will be answered by our Associate Professor, Karolína Brandlová, co-founder of the Wildlife management and Conservation Programme that focuses more on research and species conservation management. Although she originally considered studying the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences eventually won. And why is Africa so special to her? Scroll down for more…
Do you miss Africa?
Over the years, I have adopted Africa as my second home. I miss the Savannah, the warmth and the specific variation of bird voices, a lot, as well as the experience of sharing the space with wildlife far out in the bush. The founding member of the association (Derbianus Conservation), Dr Verner, has always reminded us that Africa was the cradle of humanity. The first people were recorded in the eastern part of the continent. I am rather fascinated by the idea that they lived here, surrounded by nature that is far from easy to handle, with all its lions and elephants.
How did the visits enrich you?
I have definitely gained insight into which problems matter, and which do not. I learnt to understand the interconnectedness of the ecosystems. Just by peeking into your fridge, you can tell how many products are from abroad. We should care about what is happening in our country, but also on the other side of the world. We should help to protect natural resources, not only at home but also abroad, where the locals do not have as many opportunities to take care of them. We can start by consuming local products and aim for zero waste while thinking about our consumption.
WOMEN IN AFRICA
Women dominate in your NGO, which helps to save the Derby Eland. Is that an advantage?
I cannot say if it´s an advantage. It stems from the fact that female students outnumber male students at our faculty. It´s hard to say why, but it may have some advantage. Women have the ability to look at things from different angles and come up with alternative solutions which is a serious positive in our association, which seeks to link conservation with research and education. In addition to that, we aim to involve people from different fields in our projects.
How do women in Senegal actually live?
They are not in general, oppressed there, not more so there than here in Czech. Among the African countries, Senegal is at the forefront of emancipation. There are many female players in public administration positions. We employ one Senegalese woman who is well-educated and emancipated. However, in traditional societies, the standard concept of women still exists, which assigns them only duties around the house, and taking care of the children and cattle.