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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – December 2020 Issue

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

Hoar frost on tree branches. Photo courtesy of D. Ceplis.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Many events are being cancelled or re-scheduled at the last minute due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check each organization’s website or its social media site for up to date information.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, December 6th

It has been over 30 years since the murder of 14 young women at Polytechnique Montréal (December 6, 1989). This act of violent misogyny shook our country and led Parliament to designate December 6 as The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

The day was established by the Parliament of Canada in 1991 to mark the anniversary of the 1989 murders of 14 women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal who were killed because of their gender. We should all come together to mark this tragedy and remember the victims.

Violence continues for women, girls and LGBTQ2S individuals here and around the world, and in increasing rates during the pandemic.

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women is about remembering those who have experienced gender-based violence and those who we have lost to it; it is also a time to take action. Working together we can help prevent and address gender-based violence by remembering and learning from our past, listening to survivors, and speaking up against harmful behaviour.

December 6 falls within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

Manitoba Women in Agriculture & Food (MWAF) Careers Page

This page is updated frequently with job postings in the agricultural and food industries.

This Month’s News:

Women more likely to run non-conventional farms

While women are less likely than men to farm in Manitoba, inequality appears to be lower for women in direct marketing or non-conventional farms, according to a recent report from the University of Manitoba.

The data comes from a study into “Becoming a Young Farmer in Manitoba” written by Annette Desmarais, a professor of sociology at the University of Manitoba, and master’s student Hannah Bihun. The study examined the farming journeys of 48 young farmers in southern Manitoba, of which 16 were women (including couples farming together).

When young farmers were asked if they thought women faced different challenges than men as farmers, 66 per cent of conventional farmers said yes, while 38 per cent of direct marketers felt women had different challenges.

Hansard: Women in Agriculture

In the official report for the House of Commons for November 4, 2020, Ms. Lianne Rood (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, CPC) made a recorded statement about women in agriculture.

    Mr. Speaker, one of the untold Canadian stories is of women in agriculture. Generations of farm women worked side by side with men, preparing fields and gardens, sowing crops, caring for livestock, taking in the harvest and then getting their food to market. Farm women did all of that, while taking care of children, keeping house and putting food on the table, and even serving food on tailgates in the fields. My grandmother did that, my mother did that and I learned it at their sides.

    Farm women are and were the original multi-taskers. Today, women in agriculture are involved in all aspects of agribusiness, managing large farm production operations, food processing facilities and many links in the food supply chain.

    I salute Canadian women who produce food to feed Canadian families and who aspire to growing Canadian agriculture and agri-food well into the 21st century. They are heroes.

Round table brings together female entrepreneurs

Mentorship, access to childcare, and farmer mental health were just three topics discussed at a recent roundtable that focused on empowering women leadership in the agriculture industry.

Hosted by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the virtual meeting brought together female entrepreneurs of all ages from across Canada’s agricultural food chain.

Minister Bibeau spoke with Ontario Farmer following the roundtable and said that the importance of having a mentor was something that came up repeatedly in the conversation.

Childcare, or the lack thereof, was a prominent subject throughout the roundtable. The women told Bibeau that farming is not a nine to five job so it can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to find childcare and typically, in a heterosexual relationship, taking care of the kids is a responsibility that still falls mainly on the woman.

To help overcome some of these challenges and turn action items into policy, Bibeau said the Government of Canada has put in place initiatives like Farm Credit Canada’s Women Entrepreneur Program, which is in support of the federal Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. A news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says the latter program is a $5 billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025. Minister Bibeau said it is programs like these that will help all women, including women of colour and women who identify as LGBTQ+ who are often underrepresented in agriculture, to succeed.

In just over a year since its launch, FCC’s Women Entrepreneur Program has approved almost 1,400 loan applications, totalling more than $994.5 million. AAFC says the goal is to provide women with access to capital to launch or grow their business, along with tools, resources and mentorship.

Manitoba Farm Women’s Week

The Manitoba government has proclaimed Nov. 15 to 21 as Manitoba Farm Women’s Week to recognize the critical role that women play in the agricultural industry every day, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Report: Becoming a Young Farmer in Manitoba

Hannah Bihun and Dr. Annette Desmarais of the University of Manitoba have released “Becoming a Young Farmer in Manitoba: A Report Prepared for Manitoba Agriculture”. This report is focused on determining how young farmers are entering into or continuing to farm, what supports and motivates them to farm, what barriers they face in farming, and how they view their futures in agriculture.

See pages 23 to 25 for Gender dimensions of Manitoba agriculture.

YouTube: Fair Trade’s support for Gender Rights in Ag

This is a recording of Fair Trade Canada’s session from Wednesday, October 28th 2020 FTCW20 Speaker Series: Investing in Women, Investing in a Fair Future.

Did you know that around 60-80% of the world’s food is grown by women? Sadly, despite all their hard work, women often don’t have the right to own land and have little control over their future. Join us for this 60-minute webinar, where we discuss how Fairtrade is partnering with women throughout the Global South to enable them to succeed on their own terms. On this panel, you will hear from Isabel Uriarte Latorre (Café Femenino), and Bill Barrett (Planet Bean). You will leave this session with a better understanding of the complexity of gender rights in the agricultural sector and how Fairtrade is actively addressing these issues. * Please note that this session will include Spanish interpretation.

Spur Change launches new Resource Library

The resource library includes documents, videos, training sessions and resource templates divided into seven main categories including

  • Gender Equality & Inclusivity
  • Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning

Find the library here.

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