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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – February 2018 Issue

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

See progress update for 2017 for all Sustainable Development Goals here.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Online course: “Gender-Sensitive Value Chains” – FAO-UNITAR online course from February 12 to March 9, 2018.

Language:  The online course will be conducted in English language only.

Registration Deadline January 26, 2018.

The course is offered free of charge. Limited slots are available and will be subject to a selection process conducted by FAO. Please register early to be considered.

By the end of the course, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize the role women play in value chain and enterprise development and on the potential they represent in economic and social terms;
  • Explain gender goals and objectives for value chain development distinguishing between ‘do no harm’, gender inclusion, women’s empowerment and gender transformation;
  • Apply the tools and knowledge to analyse value chains from a gender perspective;
  • Implement the tools and strategies for gender-specific value chain development strategies and policies;
  • Describe the role of the public sector in developing policies and incentives to promote gender-sensitive value chain development and women entrepreneurship;
  • Translate gender-sensitive value chain development and women entrepreneurship in to programme and projects.

Webinar: Gender, Age, and other influences on Traditional Ecological Knowledge Research in the NorthMonday, JANUARY 29, 2018, 1:00 pm Central CST. Please register in advance.

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is widely discussed in academic research as having value for understanding how ecosystems are changing because of climate change. Some scholars have noted that TEK, especially when brought into discussions of environmental planning and management, takes on a distinctly political character, one that can be either disruptive to or coopted by existing systems of colonial power and exploitation of indigenous peoples. Yet, there has been little critical evaluation of research on TEK and climate change, to explore whose voices in this research are being privileged or marginalized.

In this webinar, we report on a systematic literature review to explore the role of such factors as gender, age, and the social construction of scientific research in TEK research on climate change. Our emphasis is on the North, and specifically the North American Arctic and Subarctic regions, though we also note evident parallels in TEK research elsewhere. We discuss our findings and conclude with some notes on steps for moving the literature forward, discussing the challenge of defining expertise and the need to allow communities to self-determine through defining who the experts are, while also not marginalizing important voices.

International Development Week (IDW) – From February 4 to 10, 2018, Global Affairs Canada, individuals and organizations across the country will take part in International Development Week (IDW) and celebrate Canadian contributions to poverty reduction and international humanitarian assistance in the developing world. IDW is also a chance to engage others in learning about—and contributing to—those efforts.

Established in 1991, IDW is a uniquely Canadian tradition. The theme for IDW 2018, ‘Partners for a Better World’, encourages all Canadians to be partners in building a better, more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world. The efforts of Canadians, whether collectively or as individuals, play an important role in achieving sustainable development at home and around the globe.

Share your international development experiences and activities using the #IDW2018 hashtag, or find out more about how you can participate in IDW by visiting

Conference: AIC – Education in Agricultural Sciences and Technology – Ready for the Future? – AIC’s 2018 conference will discuss new ways in which the Canadian agricultural innovation system can help address highly-skilled technical and professional shortages and support the future generation of researchers and innovators in the agri-food sector.

AIC2018 will cover four themes:

  • Envisaging Future Graduate
  • Who are the Future Students?
  • Identifying the Educational Challenges
  • Pathways to Transformation

AIC2018 will also explore the latest trends in curriculum and program design across Canada, setting the stage for a cross-sectoral dialogue on workforce needs. April 23-24, 2018 in Guelph, Ontario. Early bird registration rate is available until February 2nd.

This Month’s News:

New Gender Guidelines to Take Effect in 2018 – With the year 2017 closing with heightened awareness of gender issues, IISD was drawn to the news that three intergovernmental bodies recently adopted gender guidelines.

  • The 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC adopted a gender action plan, under the Lima work programme on gender.
  • The 53rd meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted a Policy on Gender Equality, which will come into effect on 1 July 2018.
  • And the 53rd session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-53) and associated Committees sessions adopted the International Tropical Timber Organization’s (ITTO) Policy Guidelines on Gender Equality and Empowering Women.

The new policies were developed in some cases to update or align with existing policies, while the policy adopted by the UNFCCC COP 23 represents a new policy area. This policy brief presents highlights from each set of guidelines.

A non-binding Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment was agreed at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference.

Canada recently announced that one of the five themes that will guide discussions during its Presidency of the G7 in 2018 will be, ‘Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment’. In addition, each ministerial meeting ahead of the Leaders’ Summit will “integrate a gender-based analysis and will include a focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” the Prime Minister’s office said.

Empowering Women Could Reduce Climate Change – The UN’s new Gender Action Plan focuses on women achieving equal representation in government across the world by addressing climate change issues.

The United Nations’ new Gender Action Plan (GAP), finalized by UNFCCC member states at COP23, aims to recognize the adverse effects of climate change on women. It also recognizes they’re key to their communities’ long-and-short-term survival, and aims to ensure disenfranchised women can help spearhead solutions – both at global policy making and local grassroots levels.

What makes this GAP different is it gives women’s organizations an opportunity to make sure UNFCCC decisions are implemented through it’s five key themes which, unlike previous years, will be measured and tracked by women’s groups at COP25 in 2019.

These themes are designed to ensure grassroots women and girls are key decision-makers both globally and locally; to improve gender-responsive climate policy at the national level; to gain a greater understanding of how women are affected by climate change; and to examine how climate finance is designed and effectively responds to women’s needs.

Number of female farmers has risen in Canada since 2011 – According to the 2016 Census of Agriculture, the number of female farmers in Canada has risen by 1.8 percent since 2011 to 28.7 percent, or 77,970. These statistics have been widely reported, and in most cases, celebrated. But the celebration can be problematic.

Females still only make up just over one-quarter of all farm workers. As well, the statistics don’t address the fact that females have been farming partners for as long as farming has existed — they just are rarely identified that way. The numbers are increasing now because women are beginning to identify as farmers and they’re redefining what it means to be a farmer. The proportion of females operating horse, goat, and mixed vegetable farms, on their own or with a counterpart, was significantly higher than other types of agriculture, including beef cattle and feedlots.

As well, more young women are taking on the risk alone. The number of farms operated solely by females under age 35 rose by 113.3 percent, compared with a 24.4 percent increase in male operators younger than 35.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Gold Standard Launches Gender Equality Framework – 15 January 2018: Gold Standard, a certification body for climate action, has released a framework to assess contributions of climate action to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) that enables developers and funders of climate projects to maximize contributions to empowering women and girls.

The Framework lays out gender-sensitive requirements and guidelines to ensure that gender equality is a core feature of project design, assess gender impacts, and incentive projects that pro-actively address gender gaps. The framework will enable developers to access funding from a growing number of “gender-lens” investors by quantifying and certifying gender impacts based on best practices.

The Framework’s guidelines address key steps and tools to ensure gender equality in project design and implementation, including: consultations; safeguards assessments; gender baseline analysis; and measurement of progress towards goals. It also provides examples of possible gender targets, such as: increasing girls’ school enrollment and graduation rates; increasing income generation opportunities for women and equal pay; or improved access to financial mechanisms for women.

The Gender Equality Framework becomes part of the ‘Gold Standard for the Global Goals,’ a certification standard that aims to ensure that climate action projects also contribute to the SDGs. Gold Standard is a certification body established by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other NGOs in 2003 to catalyze more ambitious action for climate security and sustainable development.

Provincial Agricultural Reports – Top solutions to agriculture’s labour challenges include:

    • Improve access to foreign workers
    • Attract more domestic workers
    • Increase awareness of agricultural careers
    • Enhance worker knowledge and skills
    • Align training with workplace needs
    • Improve human-resource management


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