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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – September 2020 Issue

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

Rudbeckia “American Gold Rush, 2020 AAS Herbaceous Perennial Winner. 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.

SSHRC doctoral scholarship grant writing workshop

Are you a Canadian or Permanent Resident seeking funding for your graduate degree? Society For Canadian Women In Science And Technology (SCWIST) has organized a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) doctoral scholarship grant writing workshop to help you get started on your application! Whether you’re a current doctoral student, finishing your masters, or have been out of school for a while but are interested in returning, if you’re interested in applying for this upcoming funding cycle, we invite you to join us for an afternoon to go over some writing tips and story-telling strategies from a past SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral (CGS D) recipient. Free for SCWIST members. $5* for non-members.

Thu, September 3, 2020. 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM CDT

Gender Equality Week 2020

Now in its third year, Canada’s Gender Equality Week highlights and brings awareness to the inequalities experienced by women, men and people of all gender identities. It also celebrates Canada’s accomplishments and advances to date. This year, Gender Equality Week takes place from September 21 to 25.

This Month’s News:

Retired dean recognized by UM for distinguished service

Dr. Karin Wittenberg has been appointed Dean Emerita, a recognition awarded by the University of Manitoba for her distinguished service as Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba.

Dr. Karin Wittenberg began her distinguished academic career at the University of Manitoba in 1985.  She served as head of Animal Science, associate dean research, and acting dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) before her appointment as the first female dean of the Faculty (2014-2019).

Canadian Beef Industry Award

Agriculture Canada research scientist Dr. Karen Beauchemin is the winner of the Canadian beef industry award for outstanding research and innovation.

The Agriculture Canada researcher has done extensive work on ruminant metabolism and greenhouse gas emissions. Beauchemin specializes in ruminant digestion, a field that has led her to study feedlot cattle fibre requirements, ruminant metabolism, cattle methane emissions, lifecycle analysis and cereal processing.

The award was announced Aug. 12 during the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, held on-line, amid praise from fellow researchers as well as the Beef Cattle Research Centre.

In addition to her work based at the Lethbridge Research Centre, Beauchemin is an adjunct professor at the universities of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Utah State. She is a member on the science advisory committee for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and has published 390 peer-reviewed scientific papers, plus other articles, book chapters and abstracts.

Fighting farming inequality: COVID-19 brings existing gender stereotypes to surface for women in agriculture

Lockdowns and disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic have affected women disproportionately. And for those working in the agricultural sector, which feeds and adds massive value to the economy in Atlantic Canada and beyond, these surfacing gender disparities lie at its root.

When daycares and schools closed for the year, parents had few options for their children’s care. The struggle for childcare has been a persistent issue for farming families across Atlantic Canada before the pandemic. The other concern for family farms is the safety risks when children are around heavy equipment, machinery, chemicals, livestock and large numbers of employees.

VanderHeide and Keddy are fighting for protection and support from gender discrimination within the industry. They want interventions to improve work and life balance, through programs or financial help with childcare so farm families can continue to produce food efficiently and safely for Canadian families.

First all-woman crew at the helm of Atlantic Aqua Farms boat

For years, women have been employed by Atlantic Aqua Farms, which has several locations across Prince Edward Island and a main processing plant in Orwell Cove. The manager confirmed this is the company’s first all-women crew on the water, a shellfish farming boat run by an all-women crew in North Rustico.

A profile of the industry from 1994 to 2006 indicates there was a strong male presence in the industry, with women making up about one-third of workers in the industry as a whole on P.E.I. And only 21 per cent of aquaculture jobs were held by women.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Report: Boosting Economic Growth: A Report on Women Ag Entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan

Agriculture and agri-food industries represent approximately 10% of Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product. Despite increasing interest in women in ag, the representation of women entrepreneurs in these industries remains low in the province and across the country. For example, only 25% of farm operators in Saskatchewan, and approximately 30% nationally, are women.  Underrepresentation of women entrepreneurs in ag is a missed opportunity.

This report examines the current status of women ag entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan in 2020. Data for this report was gathered through secondary and primary sources. Secondary sourced data included a review of available statistics, programs devoted to women in ag, and both academic and non-academic research. Primary sourced data included interviews with 32 individuals employed in ag in Saskatchewan.

This report has been prepared by the Saskatchewan regional hub of the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) at the Hill and Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina.

Recommendations for change

Our report presents several recommendations to facilitate and support women’s agricultural entrepreneurship.

To address under-representation and lack of recognition, a clearer definition and effective documentation of women’s presence in the sector is required, including in formal business ownership agreements.

Childcare is needed, especially childcare tailored to the unconventional schedules of farming and business ownership, along with child-friendly spaces at agricultural meetings and conferences. Men can play a supportive role by engaging equally in childcare and domestic work and by challenging sexism.

Finally, we recommend training, networking and financial supports designed specifically for women in the agriculture sector.

Addressing deeply ingrained gender inequality creates more equitable participation in policymaking and leadership for our land and food — and that benefits everyone.

View the report here.

Gender Equality Guide for Covid-19 related projects

Global Affairs Canada GAC has released a Gender Equality Guide for Covid-19 related projects, offering considerations and guiding questions ensuring the importance of gender-responsive programming in crisis. On their website, they also share Guidance on Eligibility of COVID-19 Potential Costs for development assistance projects and related Q&A. Please note, there is also new Guidance to Partners on COVID-19 Temporary Approach to Holdbacks available.

Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture series

By day, Kristen Phillips is a farmer, agronomist, and general manager of Manitoba Ag Days. But she’s also a wife and a mom, raising the fifth generation of farmers on her family’s land in Roseland, Man. In this episode of AgAnnex Talks, the sixth and final interview in our Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture series, Phillips shares what keeps her excited about agriculture, the profound advice she carries with her through her career, and her thoughts on the future of the Canadian industry.

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