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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – June 2019 Issue

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

Asparagus officinalis from the garden. Photo courtesy of D. Ceplis.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Sustainable Development Goals Funding Program – In 2015, Canada and all other United Nations Member States, committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eliminate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity by the year 2030. In November 2018, we launched, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Funding Program to support projects aimed at:
• building awareness of the 2030 Agenda
• increase partnerships and networks
• advance research
• further Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda
We are currently accepting applications, on an ongoing basis, from organizations interested in receiving up to $100,000 in grant funding from the SDG Funding Program for projects that are up to 12 months in duration.

Young women in agriculture – Early results from a four-country study by University of Guelph sociology and anthropology professor Sharada Srinivasan, the Canada Research Chair in Gender, Justice and Development at the university, show that in Ontario young women farmers “feel like they are not part of the conversation,” she says.

And as other research at Guelph has shown, it’s already isolating enough being a farmer, grappling with the mental health challenges that accompany isolation. Tacking gender issues onto that can be overwhelming.

Srinivasan makes these observations after research involving in-depth interviews with nearly 50 randomly chosen young farmers (male and female) in Ontario for her study, sponsored by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

What programs and policies would help them overcome these gendered barriers? “Our interviews document a general male bias in ag in succession, in markets, in ag boards and organizations, but I would like more information on gendered barriers and support,” she says. Sharada Srinivasan is inviting young women farmers to contact her through her study’s email address,

This Month’s News:

The Paradox of Gender Equality and the Advancement of Women in STEM: A Comparison of Developed and Developing Countries – This article explores the socio-economic factors and implications behind evidence that developing countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa are outperforming advanced, liberal democratic countries in North America and Scandinavia in the advancement of women in STEM.

Wikipedia’s Refusal to Profile a Black Female Scientist Shows Its Diversity Problem – Clarice Phelps is the nuclear scientist thought to be the first black woman to help discover a chemical element; she was part of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory team that purified the radioactive sample of berkelium-249 from which the new element, tennessine, was created. But on Feb. 11, in the middle of Black History Month and on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Phelps’ page was deleted. The optics, as they say, weren’t good.

The deletion came after a brief but intense dispute between Wikipedia contributors over whether Phelps met the site’s criteria for notability. The entire spectacle revealed just how much work remains to be done to address the systemic biases that disproportionately keep women and people of color out of Wikipedia’s pages. Wikipedia acknowledges that systemic biases have led to the underrepresentation of women, minorities, and other demographic groups on its pages—and that the problem is particularly acute for biographies of living persons. The site’s own statistics suggest that women make up fewer than 15 percent of active contributors.

Feds announce $5.3M for diversity and inclusion in academic research – Fifteen post-secondary institutions are receiving $5.3 million worth of grant money from the federal government to make academic research more inclusive. Federal Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan announced the funding in Waterloo, Ont., on May 9. Duncan also announced the launch of a pilot program called Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada.
The program will attempt to deal with barriers faced by groups including women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and members of the LGBTQ community.

The first round of grant funding was made available to small university and colleges, including:
i. Aurora College
ii. Cape Breton University
iii. HEC Montréal
iv. Lakehead University
v. OCAD University
vi. Ontario Tech University (formerly University of Ontario Institute of Technology)
vii. Royal Roads University
viii. Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
ix. Université de Moncton
x. Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
xi. Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
xii. University of Regina
xiii. University of Winnipeg
xiv. Vancouver Island University
xv. Wilfrid Laurier University

The pilot program is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Building a network can empower women working in agriculture – While strides have been made over the years to improve inclusivity in agriculture, it’s important to build on that momentum. Building women up in agriculture can lead to improved health and safety measures and enhanced decision-making across the industry.

And that’s just what Ag Women Manitoba hopes to contribute to, says Pam Bailey, chair and co-founder of the group.

Pioneer canola researcher to get Manitoba’s top honour – Canola research pioneer Vivian Bruce will receive the province’s highest honour for her work establishing the health benefits of the oilseed. Bruce, a retired nutrition and food science professor, and 11 others will receive the Order of Manitoba, Lt.-Gov. Janice C. Filmon announced on May 12. Bruce and co-researcher, the late Bruce McDonald, demonstrated the nutritional qualities of canola oil and its effectiveness in lowering blood cholesterol, said Michael Eskin, a former colleague of Bruce’s and a professor of nutrition sciences at the University of Manitoba.

Bruce will receive the Order of Manitoba in a ceremony on July 18.

In 2018, Manitoba seeded about 3.4 million acres of canola, according to Manitoba Canola Growers. Across Canada, canola adds about $26.7 billion in economic activity to the economy.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Gender in the transition to sustainable energy for all: From evidence to inclusive policies – Newly released report contains the results of the research on the benefits to take into account a gender approach into the energy access interventions and provides recommendations for energy policies. The five-year research programme of ENERGIA explored the areas of electrification, productive use of energy, energy sector reform, role of the private sector in the energy access, the political economy of energy policies and women’s energy entrepreneurship to prove that including gender mainstreaming in the energy policy is indispensable to improve the living conditions for women* and girls. The conclusion of the report states that the engagement of women and men in the design, implementation and monitoring of energy policies are needed, as well as involving women in energy-system value chains and increase women’s ability to afford energy services through innovative financial mechanisms.

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