Female scientists have been at the forefront of researching Rooibos – one of the country’s most treasured natural resources.
The first documented scientific research on the healing properties of Rooibos in the early 1990’s started a chain reaction, which hasn’t let up. Today, largely due to the vast amount of research that underpins its health claims, Rooibos has become a sought-after superfood both locally and abroad, and is exported to more than 30 countries.
In the wake of International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February), the SA Rooibos Council (SARC) is paying tribute to specifically the female researchers for their invaluable contribution to the industry, and in doing so, also hopes to inspire young girls to pursue a career in science.
“These incredible women are all attempting to answer some of the most pertinent questions of our time and provide solutions to life-inhibiting and life-threatening illnesses. We salute them for their dedication and commitment to science, while many of them juggle motherhood and other demands.
“It’s unfortunate that women still account for less than 30% of the world’s researchers, as they have such a major role to play. The contribution that these women are making in the generation of knowledge is fuelling the exciting innovation within the sector and is giving a proudly South African product a significant competitive edge”, remarks du Toit.