Call us: 613.232.9459 | Email:

Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – April 2018 Issue

Here are the highlights of this month’s Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest! Click HERE for the full version.

Female youth and women at Women’s Day celebration in Tanzania. Photo courtesy of A. Ramadhan.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

New funding opportunity for gender equality and climate change – IDRC is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity aimed at fostering effective, long-term climate action to reduce social inequality, promote greater gender parity, and empower women and girls worldwide.

Accelerating Climate Action: Social Equity and Empowerment of Women and Girls builds on IDRC’s history as a key development funder, contributor of evidence-backed climate research, and incubator of innovative and inclusive climate adaptation solutions.

The aim of this call is to produce knowledge that facilitates the scaling and financing of socially-transformative climate action. By focusing on empowering women in the least-developed countries —where climatic pressures and environmental stresses are particularly acute — IDRC hopes to contribute both to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the realization of SDG 5.

The deadline for the submission of research proposals is April 23, 2018 at 11:45 pm EDT (Ottawa-Canada time).

This Month’s News:

A woman’s place at the board table – Pam Bailey has just become the first woman on the Manitoba Canola Growers Association (MCGA) board of directors. “I’ve always been active on boards and in non-profit organizations, so I started to take notice of who were the people on boards making decisions,” she says. “I noticed that in Canadian agriculture, specifically, the bulk of them are 55- to 65-year-old white males that are making decisions for a lot of younger people.”

The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council surveyed more than 500 women involved in agriculture for its Supporting the Advancement of Women in Agriculture (SAWA) project. Their needs assessment identified a lot of the common barriers to women’s participation on boards and in leadership roles in the industry. One of those barriers is difficulty in breaking into the “old boy’s club.”

Amanda Jeffs was recently appointed as the first woman on the board of directors of EastGen, a farmer-owned, not-for-profit organization dedicated to dairy genetics. “It’s definitely harder when you are worried about child care, and I think women feel that they need to fulfil all their roles as best they can,” says Jeffs. “I want to always make sure I am a good mom, but I also need to make sure my farm is running the way it should, and if I am going to be on a board I also need to be committed and make sure I am putting my work in there. So it’s comes down to whether or not you think you can juggle it all.”

Despite the barriers and all the juggling, more and more women are making the time and space for themselves to be able to add their voice at the governance level of organizations and groups shaping the future of agriculture. At the same time, progressive and effective boards understand the importance of having different perspectives at the table. That doesn’t just mean from women, but young people, and different ethnicities, and some boards and organizations are working to create inclusive policies and recruit for diversity in their ranks.

Opinion: We need to involve more women in the agricultural sciences. – A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute shows that in 2014, only 24 percent of researchers working in the agricultural sciences were women, and only 17 percent of those in leadership positions were women in a sample of 40 sub-Saharan African countries. This is important because the evidence shows that better jobs for women in agriculture leads to higher wages and greater decision making — which ultimately has a positive impact on the ways households spend money on children’s nutrition, health, and education. Having more women in agricultural research also ensures that this workforce is representative of its client base: Smallholder farmers, the majority of whom are women.

We must institutionalise women’s programs into agricultural organizations rather than having them as separate programs.

  • We need to make sure that mentoring, fellowship, and other capacity building programs for agriculture set explicit targets for women.
  • The way agriculture is taught needs to change to attract more young women, especially in African countries.

Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation – You are invited to watch a panel discussion on the important topic of Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation. BMO partnered with Researchers Clare Beckon and Janice McDonald from Carleton University and The Beacon Agency to conduct a comprehensive study on how and where Canadian women entrepreneurs are innovating, and the implications for financial institutions, venture capitalists, governments and the very fabric of Canadian Society.

Panelists will speak to the implications for business and the Canadian economy resulting from gender differences in approaches to innovation. They will also deliberate the different roles that industry and various levels of government can play to create a robust ecosystem for women business owners.
A panel discussion held on March 8 will be available in archived format.

Reports Publications and Resources:

GENNOVATE – GENNOVATE is a cross-CRP, global comparative research initiative which addresses the question of how gender norms and agency influence men, women, and youth to adopt innovation in agriculture and natural resource management (NRM).

Carried out across 137 rural communities in 26 countries, this qualitative comparative study aims to provide authoritative “bottom-up” research to advance gender-transformative approaches and catalyze change in international agricultural and NRM research for development.

In discussion groups and individual interviews, more than 7,500 rural study participants of different socio-economic backgrounds and age groups reflect on and compare local women’s and men’s expected roles and behaviors — or gender norms — and how these social rules affect their ability to access, adopt, adapt, and benefit from innovations in agricultural and natural resource management.

Participants of the study reflect on questions such as:

  • What are the most important new agricultural practices and technologies for the men of the village? And for the women?
  • What qualities make a woman a good farmer? And a man a good farmer?
  • Do young people in this village follow local customs of women doing certain agricultural activities and men others? Why or why not?
  • Are there differences between a woman who is innovative and a man who is innovative?

The initiative’s broad-based and inclusive research process strives to give rural women and men a voice by:

  • Providing authoritative, contextually grounded evidence on how gender interacts with agricultural innovations
  • Strengthening CRP capacities to know the target beneficiaries, design for them, and be accountable to them


Tags: , , ,