Call us: 613.232.9459 | Email:

Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – December 2017 Issue

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

The Genderbread Person. “Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but don’t.” Image courtesy of


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Certificate of Merit from U of Manitoba: Call for Nominations – Certificate of Merit is presented by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and the School of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba in recognition of leadership with agricultural organizations and outstanding service to the community at large. Each year two Certificates of Merit are presented, normally, one to a graduate of the Agriculture Diploma program, and one to a graduate of the Agriculture Degree program. Nominations are considered by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Executive Committee and must be received no later than January 12, 2018.

Call for Proposals: Symposium on Revalorizing Extension – Do you have insight on how to highlight extension’s crucial role in international agricultural development? What works in agricultural/rural advisory services and why? How are extension services effectively delivered to smallholder farmers and what does it take to increase support for extension services?

AgReach in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois is hosting a symposium which will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss and deliberate on topics of Interest, including:

  • Effective extension methods at the farmer, organizational, and country/system levels
  • Innovative approaches to sustainably reach women farmers and youth
  • Using ICTs to empower staff and reach more farmers

Proposals are due on January 15, 2018. Symposium dates are April 2 to 3, 2018 in Champaign, Illinois, USA.

This Month’s News:

Ontario appoints first chief scientist to ‘make government smarter – Ontario has appointed its first ever chief scientist as part of its plan to create an innovation-based economy. Dr. Molly Shoichet is tasked with “making government smarter and more effective by providing decision-makers with the world’s best scientific research and evidence,” according to a statement released by the provincial government.

Women in Ag award at Agribition – Canadian Western Agribition has awarded its inaugural Celebrating Women in Agriculture award to Belinda Wagner. Wagner has worked in the livestock industry for more than 25 years, notably with the Saskatchewan Angus Association, the Saskatchewan Livestock Association, the Saskatchewan Junior Angus Association and the Canadian Angus Foundation.

First woman acclaimed to Manitoba Canola Growers’ board – The Manitoba Canola Growers Association (MCGA) doesn’t need to run an election for directors this fall so the association’s first optional online voting won’t be held.
However, the association made history in a different way — acclaiming its first woman director. Two incumbents, Fossay who farms at Starbuck and St. Andrews farmer Curtis McRae, as well as two newcomers, John Sandborn, who farms at Benito, and Dacotah farmer Pam Bailey, have been acclaimed.

Bringing together women in agriculture – The FAFS Mentorship Program, an initiative of the Prairies NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) program, is a student-led initiative which introduces students to the structure and environment of the professional world in a supportive community. The inaugural year of the program pairs 20 students with 40 mentors from a broad range of organizations.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Beyond Striga Management: Learning Videos Enhanced Farmers” Knowledge on Climate-Smart Agriculture in Mali – Climate smart agriculture (CSA) is a concept developed by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2010. It is aimed at adapting agriculture to climate change and to mitigating the causes of climate change (FAO, 2010). CSA practices address climate change challenges, while supporting economic growth and development of the agriculture sector.

This paper assesses the climate smart agricultural practices triggered by learning videos on integrated striga management, soil fertility and cost-benefit evaluation practices. This study, carried out in republic of Mali, included semi-structured interviews with 122 farmer household heads who participated on a voluntary basis. The sampled households comprise farmers who had lived all or most of their life in the selected villages, and were able to assess changes in climate. Household head interviews were combined with focus group discussions (FGD) (Kitzinger, 1994), organized in each selected village to crosscheck information.

Results revealed that farmers have similar perceptions of climate change and related impacts in video-villages and in non-video-villages. However, farmers’ observation of climate change and related impacts are influenced by gender; men perceived more climate change and related impacts than women. In non-video villages, few respondents adopted crop rotation, intercropping, crop diversification, improved short-cycle seed varieties and zaï techniques as climate change adaptation strategies.

Videos contribute more to the adoption of crop rotation, intercropping and fertilizer application for men than for women. Videos on accounting (managing money) enable more women than men to enhance their cost-benefit evaluation practices for income improvement. During the interviews, women farmers in video-villages were eager to demonstrate their knowledge about cost-benefit evaluation. We also found that the yield of sorghum, millet and maize is higher in video-villages than in non-video-villages. Thus, using videos as an extension tool is suitable for knowledge development and leads to the high adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices for food security.

Agricultural Technologies and Gender Dynamics – Agricultural technologies – broadly categorized as intangible (knowledge-based or management practices), tangible/physical, or biological – are the foundation for improved productivity, food security, and income for farmers. But do both women and men farmers benefit from agricultural technologies?

The new Technology Assessment Toolkit from INGENAES, developed by Cultural Practice, LLC, introduces a framework that considers the social context (such as common ideas about appropriate roles for men and women that influence their access to resources and opportunities) of agricultural technologies, and the specific challenges that women and men farmers face in using the technology. It focuses on three areas: (1) time and labor, (2) food availability, access, quality and safety, (3) and income and assets. This toolkit offers technology developers, organizations, and actors using agricultural technologies the opportunity to assess what the real and potential impacts are on gender and nutrition outcomes for men, women, and their households.

COP23 Gender Action Plan: What are the implications for agriculture? – On 14 November 2017, the first ever UNFCCC Gender Action Plan was adopted at COP23. A landmark decision, it is a step forward for integrating gender equality and human rights into climate action. Its overall goal is to support the implementation of the gender-related decisions and mandates in the UNFCCC process so far, with a set of specific activities identified for the next 2 years.

The GAP recognizes that gender-responsive policy needs strengthening in all activities relating to adaptation and mitigation as well as implementation processes (finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building) and that women should participate in decision-making on the implementation of climate policies. It also recognizes that all targets and goals in activities under the Convention should mainstream gender in order to increase their effectiveness. This resonates very clearly with commitments in the Paris Agreement (2015) to mainstream gender in adaptation actions and capacity development.

Five priority areas were defined as critical to achieving gender objectives.

The Gender Equality Mainstreaming (GEM) Working Group of the Agricultural Institute of Canada gathers information and articles on an ongoing basis on gender equality mainstreaming within agriculture, scientific research, rural development, climate change, organizational development and international development.  The views and opinions presented are not necessarily representative of AIC.

Back issues of the GEM Digest are available here.