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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – June 2020 Issue

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

Forsythia ovata ‘Northern Gold’ shrub blossoms. 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.

Advancing Women conferences join Glacier FarmMedia

Agricultural publisher Glacier FarmMedia is expanding its events division at both ends of the country with a major networking event for women in agriculture and agribusiness.

The Winnipeg publishing house, which owns and operates this website, announced Thursday it acquired the two Advancing Women in Agriculture Conferences (AWC) — and has hired AWC’s founder, conference organizer Iris Meck of Calgary, as GFM’s director of conferences.

Meck will lead the AWC West and AWC East conferences and the annual Farm Forum Event, which GFM acquired in 2018 and is scheduled this year for Nov. 24-25 in Saskatoon.

AWC West 2020, which was set for March 23-24 in Calgary, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic; AWC East 2020 is scheduled for Nov. 15-17 in Niagara Falls, Ont.

New Date – Conference of Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology (CCWESTT)

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to escalate and impact communities around the globe, we feel it is important to postpone our National 2020 Biennial Conference to November 12 to 14, 2020. The conference will still be held in Winnipeg at the RBC Convention Centre. Please note that the Early Bird Registration Deadline has been extended to September 15, 2020. This year’s conference theme is Future Forward: Engage. Advance. Inspire.

Keynote speakers include: Dr. Marcia Anderson, Dr. Gina Parvaneh Cody, Julie Angus and Sherry Holmes.

This Month’s News:

Equal, and equitable too

In a new column, CAHRC’s Jennifer Wright offers strategies that can boost the opportunity for female family members and employees to contribute on-farm.

CAHRC provides tools that can help address both gender quality and equity on the farm through the AgriHR Toolkit and best practice guides for increased inclusion and diversity in agriculture.

Farming for Tomorrow – Lynn Dargris

Lynn Dargris unexpectedly took over her family farm in Alberta at just 20-years-old. After becoming fed up with traditional grain marketing she launched the app Farmbucks in 2018. See pages 18 to 24 of the May-June 2020 issue of Farming for Tomorrow.

Advancing Gender Equality as part of National Call To Action

Advancing gender equality in Canada will require collective action on four priorities identified by the Gender Equality Network Canada (GENC). Three SCWIST representatives were part of a network of 150 GENC leaders met and developed recommendations essential to gender equality in four priority areas: Violence Against Women and Gender-Based Violence; Decolonization and Reconciliation; Accessibility, Equity, Equality, and Inclusion; and Economic Security and Prosperity.

Key recommendations include a national childcare strategy, pay equity, and sustainable, long-term core funding for women’s organizations and gender equality organizations across Canada. Winding up after three years of work, the GENC was funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) and convened by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Gender Bias in Academic Conferences

With the majority of men dominating STEM fields, it is not surprising to hear that the majority of presenters and speakers at academic conferences are predominantly male. While this doesn’t seem like a significant problem in the midst of so many other issues that women face in academia, it certainly makes a difference. Lack of visibility of women at conferences plays a negative role in women’s motivation to pursue STEM fields, and also sets them back when it comes to insufficient recognition and acknowledgement of their research. Essentially, this only benefits men further, as it places their work in the spotlight and eclipses the valuable academic work of women. Also, women belonging to minority groups are even further underrepresented at many conferences, which is why it is crucial that rules be put into place to ensure gender equity and overall fairness when it comes to conference attendees and speakers.

So, the question remains: what can we do to accentuate these issues and bring about a new reality for women at academic conferences that make them feel both secure in their attendance and acknowledged in their scholarly work?

Five Journeys: STEM-educated Immigrant Women in Canada

Five Journeys: STEM-educated Immigrant Women in Canada is a collaborative online exhibition that shares the stories of five STEM-educated women who immigrated from their home countries of India, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to build a new life for themselves and their families, and to continue to develop their own careers. They each share their experience of settling into Canada, figuring out the system, building a support network, and forming the foundation of their current careers.

The exhibition seeks to raise awareness around the gaps in the new immigrants’ labour market integration process and systemic challenges faced during transition. It is intended to encourage a larger conversation about how new immigrants, potential employers, the settlement and government sectors, and the general public can look beyond jobs and job-finding processes to reflect on issues of fairness and belonging through increased understanding, empathy, and inclusivity.

USask appoints new dean in College of Agriculture and Bioresources

Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn (PhD) has been appointed the new dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan (USask). Bedard-Haughn will begin a five-year term on Aug. 15, 2020.  She specializes in soil science research, focusing on two main areas: management of wetland soils and predictive soil mapping. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Bedard-Haughn received her Bachelor of Science in 1998 and Master of Science in 2001 from USask, and a PhD in 2004 from the University of California, Davis.

Bedard-Haughn will replace Mary Buhr, who has served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources since July 1, 2009.

Reports Publications and Resources:

30 Years of Gender Inequality and Implications on Curriculum Design in Open and Distance Learning

Abstract: Gender inequality is a pressing issue on a global scale, yet studies on this important issue have stayed on the margins of open and distance learning (ODL) literature. In this study, we critically analyse a batch of ODL literature that is focused on gender inequality in post-secondary and higher education contexts. We use Therborn’s social justice framework to inform and guide the study. This is a comprehensive social justice lens that sees inequality as “a life and death issue,” approaching empowerment as a central area of concern. Qualitative content analysis of 30 years of peer-reviewed literature reveals patriarchy and androcentrism as significant mechanisms that continue to produce gender inequality, in particular in women’s access to educational resources and formal learning opportunities. We highlight three themes that emerged in the content analysis: (1) ODL and equal opportunity; (2) Feminism and gender-sensitive curriculum design; and (3) Culturally relevant curriculum design. We critique views of access to technology-enabled education as an instrument for social justice, and provide a pedagogical model for an ODL curriculum centred on empowerment and agency, two concepts closely linked to existential inequality. We argue that such a curriculum is public service and requires a model of education that is based on participation and co-construction, and lies at the intersection of critical, feminist, and culturally relevant pedagogical practices.

Ways to Ensure Gender Equality Is at the Center of Responses to COVID-19

Save the Children has been on the front lines of the Coronavirus pandemic since the beginning, delivering critical supplies to health workers as well as trusted information to reduce transmission and keep kids safe. Pandemics affect girls, boys, women, men and people of diverse gender identities differently, which is why gender equality must be at the center of responses to COVID-19, as a life saving measure. Here are eight ways to lead to a more effective and equitable response.

  • Address the disproportionate burden of women’s and girls’ care work.
  • Prevent and address gender-based violence.
  • Prioritize information and services on sexual and reproductive health.
  • Empower adolescent girls.
  • Prioritize social protection and economic empowerment.
  • Ensure equal leadership and participation by women, children and adolescents.
  • Address the needs of women on the frontline of pandemic.
  • Invest in women’s and girls’ rights organizations.

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