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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – January 2019 Issue

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

Native white-tailed deer. Photo courtesy of D. Ceplis.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Expressions of Interest for Canada’s Partnership for Gender Equality On May 25th, 2018, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister for International Development launched a call to action to mobilize unprecedented levels of financial resources to support gender equality, women’s rights and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries.

Members of the philanthropic community, the private sector, not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations are invited to signal their interest and capacity to design, establish and manage the new Partnership for Gender Equality, a global platform to address the funding gap faced by women’s organizations and movements working to advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries.

Deadline to apply is 12 p.m. (noon), EST on January 31, 2019.

FARM CREDIT CANADA (FCC) NEEDS Input from Women – FCC is requesting your assistance to help us promote the Vision panel and help us to grow our reach to women in agriculture, increase participation, and increase diversity. The FCC Vision panel is an opportunity for you to share your opinions on a variety of topics related to the agriculture industry and helps to shape the future of the industry and guide our business decisions. For your participation in the short surveys you will receive an incentive which you can redeem for gift cards.

Below is additional information about the panel: Anyone involved in agriculture can join. You do not need to be an FCC customer. We value the input from everyone connected to agriculture.

Typically, you will have the option to complete 1-3 short surveys per month (all optional). We may also offer optional in-person or online focus groups depending on the topic/need.
Every time you participate you will be compensated for your time through a generous points system that you redeem for gift cards of your choice (Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, Pre-Paid VISA card, etc.).

This Month’s News:

Canada announces new initiative to empower women and youth in SenegalAdaptation and Valorization of Entrepreneurship in Irrigated Agriculture ($17.97 million over five years) – Implemented by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), this initiative will promote the use of innovative technologies and best practices in agriculture to encourage women and youth in Senegal to adopt climate-friendly agricultural and irrigations practices. This will help to improve the economic resilience of as many as 11,025 women and 4,725 youth from farming households, and to benefit 157,000 community members, in the Sédhiou and Tambacounda regions.

The project’s activities will include:

• creating public-private partnerships with financial institutions to increase women’s and youth’s access to funding and with private companies to buy innovative agricultural products;
• developing customized training programs for women and youth in financial management, business planning and adapting to climate change;
• conducting and disseminating market research to agricultural service providers on the needs of farming households led by women and youth; and
• facilitating the development of multi-stakeholder platforms for women and youth to facilitate dialogue around water resources management.

Biodiversity: a women’s business?  – Women are among the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the world. What role do their burgeoning forest and farm businesses play in safeguarding biodiversity?

At least half of the 1.5 billion people who depend on forests for employment, forest products and livelihood support are women. But in national data sets, women’s economic activities in forest and farm landscapes are for the most part invisible – and often overlooked when it comes to policymaking.

However, awareness of entrepreneurism among rural women is slowly growing. As part of our series of articles exploring women’s role in safeguarding biodiversity, we look at women’s business pursuits in the forest and farm landscape.

Scaling up production of more nutritious yellow potatoes in Colombia – Farmers, breeders, and scientists married scientific knowledge and traditional practices to develop three new yellow potato varieties: Criolla Ocarina, Criolla Sua Pa, and Criolla Dorada. These potatoes yield 15% more than traditional varieties, are twice as resistant to late blight disease, contain double the amount of protein, and have nearly 20% more iron and zinc.

The new varieties have already replaced 16% of the country’s yellow potato production area and are proving to be popular with consumers. With a 40% yield increase over traditional varieties, the improved cultivars are available to more than 6.5 million Colombian consumers and expected to reach up to 8.6 million Colombians in 2018. They have boosted the incomes of more than 4,000 farmers by 18% and these varieties have also helped the number of households classified as food secure increase from 19% to 59%.

Building local capacity has been key to the project’s sustainability. This includes a sustainable business model for the local production and availability of high-quality seeds that increase yields for farmers, creating new jobs, and improving the health of Colombian consumers, including smallholder farmers.

Family farming schools taught participants practical knowledge for growing the new varieties, as well as for growing fruits and vegetables, preparing food, hygiene, and guidance on gender issues. Leadership training and the development of Community Action Plans have empowered women in their communities, including new savings and credit mechanisms.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Gender Advocacy Training on Climate Change – The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung in cooperation with GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice and LIFE Environment Education Sustainability launched the project Not without us!”. It supports selected women activists from Ecuador, South Africa and Indonesia in their attempts to connect their local climate struggles with the international sphere. The idea is to make local struggles for gender and climate justice visible, to support gender advocates in voicing their demands at the international policy sphere and to support networking within the global climate justice movement.

As part of the project activities, a training Getting ready to advocate for gender and climate justice” has been developed and implemented to support civil society activists getting ready for the upcoming UNFCCC negotiations.
The presentation is structured in the following way: Its first part focuses on refreshing knowledge about the UN Climate Change Negotiations key points including instructions on how to read negotiation language. It will then summarize how gender equality got integrated and framed in this process. The third part looks at the Paris Agreement, highlights relevant agenda items for the COP24 agenda, and specifically focuses on items we have identified as relevant for the adoption of the implementation guidelines, including recommendations to preserve the spirit of the Paris Agreement.

Annual Report for Energy 4 Impact: PUTTING ENERGY AT THE HEART OF DEVELOPMENT – Some highlights:
• Throughout East and West Africa, we supported 800 businesses to use electricity and electrically powered equipment to increase productivity. These include welding, carpentry, food services, shops, agro-processing, refrigeration, clean water kiosks, water pumping, tailors and hair salons. Of these businesses, 331 are owned by women. A further 122 are run by women’s groups, with 6,442 members.
• In Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal, we supported 436 women entrepreneurs and 108 women’s groups (with around 6,000 members) to capitalise on the livelihood opportunities offered by growing energy access markets. They received technical assistance, mentoring, advice on advanced cookstove technologies, and access to capital. Their work provided 735,000 people with access to energy.

Future concerns:
• Gender equality. In sub-Saharan Africa, just 14% of women on average are in full-time formal employment, compared with 33% of men, according to the Overseas Development Institute. As UN Women states, reducing the gap between women’s and men’s participation in the labour force will result in faster economic growth.

See the chapter on “Empowering Women”, pages 23 to 27.

500 Women Scientists 2018 Annual Report – Over 20,000 women of STEM and supporters from more than 100 countries have signed in support of 500 Women Scientists, pledging to build an inclusive scientific community dedicated to training a more diverse group of future leaders in science and to use the language of science to bridge divides and enhance global diplomacy.

From an open letter to a global grassroots organization, our journey has gone well beyond our initial response to the 2016 American election. What was true in November 2016 still resonates today: scientific institutions must grapple with the long history of inequity, misogyny, racism, and exploitation. We must face that history, learn from it, and fundamentally transform scientific institutions to be truly inclusive and serve the public good.

Plans for 2019 include the following:
• Request a Woman Scientist
• Fellowship for the Future
• Fertility, Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding Project
• Young women in science – outreach and mentorship
• International reach
• Conference meet-ups
• Partnerships

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