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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – December 2018 Issue

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

Cattle grazing in frosty conditions in Manitoba. Photo courtesy of D. Ceplis.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

The 5th Global Science Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture 2019Abstracts will be accepted until February 28th, 2019. Conference dates and location: 8-10 October 2019 | Bali, Indonesia.

For a transformation to succeed, creativity, disruption and change are required. We invite stakeholders, entrepreneurs and game changers from all sectors to join us in taking action. The conference will aim to achieve the following objectives:
• To mobilize the knowledge needed for food systems transformation under climate change.
• To catalyze the partnerships needed for transformation, bringing together all key stakeholders, from scientists, policy makers, investors and farmers.

The overarching theme of the 5th conference, ‘Transforming food systems under a changing climate’, takes cognizance of the need for transformation and aims to build the knowledge base needed to support the transformation required. The conference will focus on 6 interlinked sub-themes, which are the key elements of agricultural transformation.

This includes sub-theme #6: Gender equality, capacity and enabling policy and institutions. This sub-theme recognizes the central and complementary role that gender equality, capacity, enabling policies and institutions play to support transformation. The focus will be on innovative approaches to capacity enhancement, policy design and implementation, land governance and reforms, and trade rules.

10th Advancing Women in Agriculture – West Conference – Calgary, March 11 and 12, 2019
AWC is created for every woman who is passionate about agriculture and food, whether you are a university or college student studying agriculture, producer, rancher, entrepreneur, representative of a grower association or corporate agribusiness. AWC is for women who want to enhance their family life, community, career, and industry.

This Month’s News:

Making Agriculture Cool; Agribusiness TV WAGENINGEN, The Netherlands, Nov 8 2018 (IPS) – At every conference she has attended on the youth, Nawsheen Hosenally has been frustrated to hear that agriculture is not ‘cool’. The 29-year-old graduate in agricultural extension and information systems knew she wanted to do something to redeem the image of agriculture among young people.

So the Mauritian and her Burkanibe, journalist husband decided to co-founded Agribusiness TV. Content for the channel is viewed through the website where short video stories about successful youth entrepreneurs who have careers in agriculture are uploaded.

With a little help from their mobile phones, apps, YouTube and Facebook, young entrepreneurs like Hosenally are changing the face of farming across Africa. Despite having 60 percent of the world’s arable and uncultivated land, the African continent is battling to eliminate hunger and poverty as the majority of its smallholder farmers are getting older and realising lower crop yields than before.

The digitalisation of agriculture offers young entrepreneurs the opportunity to create disruptive business models that accelerate modernisation of the sector.

Trade 2030: Questions on gender and technology – The recent public forum of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in October 2018 with the theme Trade 2030 addressed the issues of sustainable trade, technology-enabled trade, and a more inclusive trading system.

The inclusion of civic voices in the forum was important. Coalitions and organisations such as Third World Network, Our World is Not for Sale, Women at the Table and Consumer Unity and Trust Society International curated and facilitated important sessions debating the intersection and implications of trade justice (or lack thereof) on: human rights gender, agriculture, food security, and climate justice, among others.

Two issues that stood out for Deputy Director-General Myn Garcia were ‘gender-responsive trade policies’ and the notion of technology as an enabler of trade.

Youth Create Businesses that Are Geared to Protecting the Environment – SEOUL, Nov 27 2018 (IPS) – An organic pesticide safe for farmers and the environment, and carbonised fuel briquettes made from agricultural waste materials and organic waste are all business ideas that promote a green economy.

The entrepreneurs who started these businesses are among the winners of this year’s ‘Greenprenuers’ Programme, which is designed by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to supercharge green growth start-ups. It was run with GGGI, Youth Climate Labs and Student Energy (SE).

The programme helps young entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas “take their idea from concept to business plan, for a solution that positively impacts the future of sustainable energy; water and sanitation; sustainable landscapes (forestry and agriculture); or green city development.”

Reports Publications and Resources:

How Two Agricultural Development Projects Boosted Women’s Empowerment – When we talk about women’s empowerment, it is difficult to grasp what we actually mean. Does it refer to women’s attitudes towards gender violence? Or does it mean women’s economic independence and decision-making power? Does it perhaps imply access to productive resources, education, and other opportunities? Or might it mean control over time? Or does it concern all these aspects? Fortunately, in recent years, IFPRI, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Human Development Initiative (OPHI) have collaborated to develop a concrete means to measure these factors, the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI). The latest version of the index, the project-level WEAI (pro-WEAI), focuses on evaluating agricultural development projects. Users discussed its applications in a launch event Oct. 25.

When measuring the impacts of agricultural programs, we tend to focus on production and income (which, don’t get us wrong, is absolutely necessary!). However, sometimes we forget that agricultural projects can affect intrahousehold dynamics and improve (or worsen) the empowerment of individual household members. The index is a multi-dimensional indicator that considers five aspects of empowerment: Decisions about agricultural production; access and decision-making power over productive resources; control over use of income; leadership in the community; and time use.

Two specific examples are provided – in Nicaragua and Bolivia – in which the WEAI was used to assess the impact of agricultural projects on women’s empowerment.

Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index – Resource Centre – The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), launched by IFPRI, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), and USAID’s Feed the Future in February 2012, is the first comprehensive and standardized measure to directly measure capture women’s empowerment and inclusion in the agricultural sector. The WEAI is an innovative tool composed of two sub-indices: one measures women’s empowerment across five domains in agriculture, and the other measures gender parity in empowerment within the household.

The five domains include (1) decisions about agricultural production; (2) access to and decision-making power over productive resources; (3) control over use of income; (4) leadership in the community; and (5) time use. The tool also measures women’s empowerment relative to men within their households.

Since the original WEAI release, multiple versions of the WEAI have been developed. The Abbreviated WEAI (A-WEAI) is a shorter version of the original that can be used in population-based surveys to measure women’s empowerment. The Project WEAI (Pro-WEAI) instrument seeks to measure women’s empowerment within project-specific contexts, and includes optional modules tailored to livestock and/or nutrition and health programs. Pro-WEAI development also drew on qualitative methods to enhance understanding of women’s empowerment in specific social and cultural contexts. The WEAI for Value Chains (WEAI4VC), still under development, is intended to measure empowerment across agricultural value chains.

Engendering Success in STEM – Engendering Success in STEM (ESS) is a research partnership with the shared goal to foster women’s inclusion and success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). We bring together social scientists, STEM experts, and stakeholders in STEM industry and education. Our goal is to use an evidence-based approach to break down the biases girls and women face on their pathway to success.

Applying two decades of research, our team tests interventions that harness the power of positive social interactions to reduce the effects of implicit gender bias. These interventions target the distinct obstacles that are unique to each step along the way from early education to industry.

Project CLIMB – Childhood: Changing the Learning of Implicit Math Biases
Project PRISM – Adolescence: Promoting Rising Inclusion and STEM Motivation
Project SINC – University: Shaping Inclusive Network Cultures
Project RISE – Early Career: Realizing Identity Safe Environments

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