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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – August 2019 Issue

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

Wild Lady’s Slipper orchids (Cypripedium species). Photo courtesy of D. Ceplis


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Webinar: Women’s Organizations and Climate Finance: Engaging in Processes and Accessing Resources – To learn more about the information in this report – Women’s Organizations and Climate Finance: Engaging in Processes and Accessing Resources – and ongoing work on women’s rights, gender equality and climate finance, you’re invited to join a webinar on August 15th at 12:00 PM GMT.

CBC Massey Lecturer argues gender equality is crucial to a thriving future

Award-winning author, journalist, and human rights activist Sally Armstrong is this year’s CBC Massey Lecturer.

In her 25 years covering stories in conflict zones, Armstrong has been relentlessly advocating for women, exposing abuse and oppression. She was the first journalist to bring the story of Afghan women living under the Taliban to the world.

Through her lectures, Armstrong argues that improving the status of the women is crucial to our collective surviving — and thriving. The facts are beyond dispute: when women get an education, all of society benefits; when they get better healthcare, everyone lives longer.

In many ways, it has never been a better time to be a woman: a fundamental shift has been taking place all around us, and we’re all better off. Yet the promise of genuine equality still eludes half the world’s population.

By looking at the past, Armstrong examines the many roles women have played in society, and the social developments for women over millennia across many benchmarks: in sex, religion, culture, politics, and economics. What we learn is that gender inequality comes at too high a cost for all of us, and that the only way forward for all of us, men as well as women, is for women to become truly equal with men.

The book version of the 2019 CBC Massey Lectures, Power Shift: The Longest Revolution, is published by House of Anansi Press. It will be available on Sept. 17, 2019.

In addition to being live in 5 cities, the CBC Massey Lectures will be broadcast on IDEAS in November 2019.

This Month’s News:

Global Forum on Women in Scientific Research  – With ongoing concern about the low numbers of women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and in the wake of the #MeToo movement, there is a growing momentum to pay attention to the low numbers and poor experiences of women in science.

Scheduled for July 18 and 19, 2019 in Dakar, Senegal, the second Global Forum on Women in Scientific Research (GoFoWiSeR) convening is envisioned as a global conversation that will bring together over 200 participants including leaders of research institutions, research funders, female scientists and other stakeholders, to discuss the trends and strategies toward increasing women’s numbers and experiences in STEM. The Dakar GoFoWiSeR convening will provide valuable opportunity to catalyze new connections and strengthen the network of actors and advocates working to increase the numbers and improve the experiences of women in scientific research.

Women leaders remain rare in ag – The boardrooms of agricultural corporations have large tables and many chairs. Few of those chairs are filled by women. They weren’t yesterday, and they aren’t today.

Canadian Grain Commission chief commissioner Patti Miller and former Cargill vice-president Fran Burr have both had experience as the lone woman at the board table. Though more women are attaining leadership roles in the agricultural field, progress is slow.

Burr and Miller are two of the 70 women interviewed by Jennifer Braun, assistant professor of sociology at King’s University, who recently obtained her PhD. She has submitted two chapters of her dissertation for publication. They comprise data from one year of field research obtained by driving throughout the Prairies speaking with women in leadership and in other influential roles within the ag field. She found a growing public awareness about women’s involvement in agricultural groups and in farm leadership.

Inuvik woman first Inuk to win prestigious $25K STEAM Horizon award

Tyra Cockney-Goose is the first Inuk, and the only woman this year, to win the prestigious STEAM Horizon award. The national award recognizes outstanding students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and comes with a $25,000 scholarship.

Cockney-Goose is from Inuvik, N.W.T. She’s home for the summer from her studies at the University of Victoria where she is working on a mathematics degree. When she’s done those studies, she hopes to eventually return to the North and teach math and science.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Scaling up innovations in smallholder agriculture: Lessons from the Canadian international food security research fund – Scaling up food security innovations in low-income rural environments has often failed to achieve substantive and lasting results. This poor performance can be attributed to dominant, linear approaches associated with spreading innovations which entail technology research and development and subsequent transfer to farmers. Such approaches tend to overlook complexity elements and non-linear processes in smallholder agriculture, including multiple stress factors such as climate variability and economic risks that make the uptake of new agricultural innovations more unpredictable. This article presents programmatic lessons from the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) on scaling up. It considers projects that: i) deployed successfully pilot-tested innovations to reach and benefit large numbers of beneficiaries; and projects that ii) used innovations as an entry point to catalyse systematic change in the food and agricultural sector. The paper also outlines several key scaling up principles that can encourage better understanding of relevant socio-ecological dynamics and complexities in intervention areas as a way to support innovations (at scale) that can contribute to more sustainable system outcomes. Finally, the paper reflects on how predominant definitions of impact at scale, centered around rather narrow indicators around economic growth and technology transfer, might consider more holistic goals that encompass integrated agricultural interventions that advance sustainable agri-food system outcomes.

‘Women’s Organizations and Climate Finance: Engaging in Processes and Accessing Resources’ – Climate finance should flow to women’s organizations, gender-related groups, and feminist organizations working at the intersection of gender equality and climate change.

Efforts toward enhanced gender-responsiveness of climate finance must include the groups, organizations, and networks best positioned to realize gender equality on the ground, contributing to more robust climate solutions and outcomes. These truths are undeniable, but we know that practice has not yet caught up to the ideal.

In response, Prospera, the International Network of Women’s Funds, and WEDO have been working to identify the best engagement pathways for organizations to ensure the four primary public climate funds begin to make this a reality.

This report is one piece of the ongoing work and advocacy undertaken by many colleagues and collaborators, to transform our climate finance system into one that is gender-responsive and equitable.

Women Plant Pathologists Leading the CPS – This poster was prepared by a member of the Canadian Phytopathological Society and was presented at the Plant Canada meeting this month. It showcases some amazing women in science and plant pathology.

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