The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has been recognized over several decades for its efforts in advancing the equality of women within its international development programs. On its website, CIDA defines its approach as:
"Equality between women and men or gender equality-promoting the equal participation of women and men in making decisions; supporting women and girls so that they can fully exercise their rights; and reducing the gap between women's and men's access to and control of resources and the benefits of development."
Programs and projects that receive funding support through CIDA also incorporate gender equality considerations within their work.
Throughout its history, AIC's International Twinning Partnership Program (ITPP) has included a gender equality component. During the planning stages for the current program 2006-2011, CIDA challenged AIC to consider gender equality from perspectives of both developmental (how gender equality is expressed within projects) and institutional (how gender equality is expressed within the implementing agencies - AIC and its partner organizations). This challenge was the stimulus for AIC to begin the examination of gender, diversity and equality within its own structures and programs.
Within the ITPP, all projects share a common objective for gender equality, that being: "Women are active participants and beneficiaries of agricultural endeavours."
Individual projects engage in specific endeavours towards this objective, such as demonstrated in the following recent examples.
In the Integrated Crop and Livestock project in Ghana, the influence of women in community development and decision-making is growing through their increased roles as income earners and production managers. The project also provides financial and technical support and mentoring to female students in tertiary institutions towards reducing gender disparity in the animal science profession.
For the Ghana Horticultural project, five students from the University of Development Studies (Wa campus) are doing a survey on "Gender Participation in Dry Season Vegetable Gardening" at the five project locations in the Upper West Region.
The Tanzania Society of Agricultural Education and Extension, encourages women to assume active roles in both project management and delivery. As part of its activities, the project provides entrepreneurship training to women, so that they can participate competitively, and successfully, in broadening their markets.
Within the SRICANSOL II soil and crop management project in Sri Lanka, a woman leads the GIS mapping component, another guides the social studies, and three others coordinate project implementation at two sites.
Through focused efforts, the land management project in Vietnam has seen an increase in the participation of village women in community and project activities from 25 to 40%. Local women's associations are supported in establishing and managing credit funds.
The newest ITPP project with the Ethiopia Soil Science Society is encouraged by the immediate participation of women members from the Society. More opportunities to involve more women in the implementation of the project will be advanced.
2006-2011 End of Project
Activities for the 2006-2011 projects related to gender equality mainstreaming included the following in 2010:
- All seven groups of project coordinators continued to access or identify the availability of funding in-country for gender-based analysis and training. Details are provided to AIC in semi-annual and annual reports.
- Narrative and Results Based Management (RBM) reports from all seven international projects were reviewed by AIC international program staff semi-annually from a gender equality perspective and feedback is provided to project partners to support them in mainstreaming gender equality within project endeavours. Financial, technical cooperation and in-kind reports are reviewed quarterly.
- All ITPP coordinators performed an analysis of gender equality for the end of project reports. See Executive Summary for an overview of results and End of Project Report for the results.
- All seven ITPP partners have a representative on the GEM.
- AIC staff members stress the need for GE mainstreaming within international projects with any new partnerships.
Activities in preparation for the 2011 project proposal to CIDA included:
- A comprehensive GE analysis section was included in AIC's new proposal guidelines for project partners to use in preparing their new proposals for CIDA's Partnerships with Canadians Branch (PWCB.
- All seven project partner groups incorporated gender equality as a cross-cutting theme in their project proposals.
- Proposals were reviewed by AIC's international program coordinators in Canada and staff at a June 2010 workshop, and by overseas coordinators through e-mail. Comments and best practices on gender equality were compiled and distributed to ITPP coordinators as a GE Handbook for reference.
- Staff incorporated gender equality as a cross-cutting theme in the Scientific Societies in International Partnerships for Agriculture and Rural Development (SSIPARD) proposal to CIDA for the March 2011 deadline.