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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – March 2020 Issue

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

The United Nations General Assembly designated 1975 as International Women’s Year, taking as its theme equality between men and women; the “full integration of women” in economic, social, and cultural development efforts; and peace.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

International Women’s Day

The theme for International Women’s Day (8 March 2020) is, I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights. The theme is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, the Beijing Platform for Action is recognized as the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.

Watch for events in your community.

Conference: Advancing Women in Agriculture West

March 23-24, 2020 in Calgary at Hyatt Regency.

This is an opportunity to meet and hear from innovative farmers, industry leaders and experts on advocacy, mental health, financial management, risk, and branding.  Gain insight into the evolution of agriculture, opportunities for its transformation and the skills that will be necessary. Meet and learn from entrepreneurs who are embracing challenges and opportunities, stepping into new frontiers and ensuring a profitable future in agriculture.

Take in workshops to learn about leadership, personal finances, business finances, succession planning, stress and mental health, personal branding and the business of risk on your farm and what skills will be required for the future. Visit all our exhibitors – draws, giveaways and information.  Industry leaders have sponsored 32 students to date.

This Month’s News:

A question of equity

Ag corporations are making strides toward gender equity. What will it take on the farm? In our November issue, Saskatchewan farmer Jean Harrington triggered terrific online response — and some pushback — with her blunt assessment that today’s young farm women aren’t doing enough to break down barriers for women in agriculture. So we want to know, what exactly would gender equity on the farm look like?

A Women in Food and Agriculture (WFA) survey released in December 2019 by AllTech reveals that gains have been made around the globe, but as with most recent studies — and we have been studied to death lately — a large majority of women in agriculture feel that big barriers remain to their career progress, including the gender pay gap, and the lack of mentors and a strong network.

Only half of women feel they are well represented in leadership of their organization, and only 43 per cent feel well-represented in the agri-food industry as a whole. No surprise, men generally feel women are better represented in all categories. Yet in Canada, as was mentioned in our November issue, the percentage of women in leadership roles across every part of the industry is significantly lower than either of those numbers.

Canada must boost foreign aid for feminist agenda to have sustained impact, experts say

International development experts say the federal Canadian government must boost its foreign-aid spending toward the UN target if it wants its feminist agenda to have a meaningful and sustained impact.

However, the annual budget increases have not resulted in a significant boost in development spending as a percentage of Canada’s gross national income (GNI). Canada reached 0.28 per cent in 2018, up from 0.26 in the two previous years, according to the most recent statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. But the government doesn’t appear to have a plan to reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent.

New report asks why more P.E.I. women aren’t working in agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries

A new report identifies multiple obstacles blocking women wanting to work in agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries on Prince Edward Island. “Childcare was a main issue, which may or may not be particularly unique to the industries,” said Bobby Thomas Cameron, with the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Land. The report said women taking the survey identified pregnancy, gender bias and jobs considered to be traditionally female work such as childcare and housework as the top three barriers to women’s participation in the industries. The survey also found 50 per cent of the women who responded had witnessed or experienced gender bias at work.

A new working group through the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture is putting together a strategic action plan of their own. The women who were interviewed for the report also said they weren’t aware of what government was doing to encourage more female participation in the industries. More than half said mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as money for programs specifically for women, need to be made available.

The gender inclusion project first began when the industries were part of one department, but the recommendations will now be handled by two departments: Agriculture and Land and Fisheries and Communities.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Report: When it comes to gender equality, Canada has unfinished business

This study provides an assessment of Canada’s progress in meeting the goals for gender equality set out in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Adopted unanimously by 189 countries including Canada in 1995, the Beijing Declaration is the most progressive global blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights. The report examines Canada’s progress over the last 25 years in areas ranging from reproductive health to women’s economic standing and the situation of women in prisons.

The report was produced by a network of more than 50 women’s rights and equality-seeking organizations, trade unions and independent experts representing millions of members from across the country.

According to the study, gender inequality remains an issue in a number of critical areas for women broadly, and acutely for women from marginalized communities.

  • Progress in education has not produced an equally steady level of progress in women’s economic security. Between 2006 and 2018, Canada’s gender gap in economic participation and opportunity inched forward an average of 0.2% per year. At this rate, it will take 164 years to close the economic gender gap in Canada.
  • The overall Canadian gender pay gap is among the highest in the OECD, ranking 31st place out of 36 countries. The gap is even larger for racialized women and Indigenous women, who make 60% and 57%, respectively, of what non-racialized men earn.
  • Men outnumber women in public and private sector management positions by two to one. In the political arena, only 29% of all members of federal Parliament are women.

Music Video to celebrate Women in Agriculture: “In My Blood”

Tenille Towns, in a special project with Ram Trucks, the National Future Farmers of America Organization and FarmHer, celebrates 50 years of women in agriculture. This song, “In My Blood,” celebrates their values of hard work, courage and integrity, and we had so much fun recording it alongside a wonderful group of women in the studio.

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