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AIC Gender Equality Policy

Presented to the AIC Board of Directors, August 2008. The Board passed an Executive Limitations Policy in December 2008 and the AIC CEO approved the following operational policy.

1. Background

Committing to gender equality is a long term process that demands commitment to change on both the individual and organizational levels and means committing to a process of learning, analysis, reflection and action.

Historically, AIC reflected the agricultural sector in Canada and had many years of being a primarily male environment. While the number of women in the agricultural sector increased, the number of female members in AIC did not increase correspondingly nor was the increase of women in the agriculture sector reflected in how AIC operates. AIC continues to be largely gender blind.

The Institutional Analysis conducted in 2007 highlighted the key areas of gender inequality and the major barriers within AIC, most importantly the lack of awareness, knowledge and understanding of Gender Equality. The analysis identified the need to put in place a policy to guide AIC and its partners to work toward Gender Equality.

2. Definition

Gender equality in AIC is the state in which women and men enjoy the same status in the organization. It involves males and females sharing equally in the power, decision making, work and benefits from the organization and its programs. It applies to the internal dynamics and programs of the organization and extends to the partnerships and scope of influence of the organization. AIC will not assume gender equality already exists and once achieved, males and females will have equal conditions for realizing their full human rights and potential to contribute to the development of the organization and its programs, and to benefit from the results.

3. Principles

Gender Equality is a human rights issue. As a Canadian organization at the forefront of agricultural policy, AIC has the opportunity and obligation to lead by example.

AIC will not assume Gender Equality already exists and will use gender analysis to evaluate gender gaps and implement changes to close the gender gap.

AIC will be inclusive and build ownership by facilitating ways for partners, members, board and staff to lead, support and monitor the process.

AIC will promote and support organizational change that contributes to Gender Equality. AIC will engage in a process of learning, analysis, reflection and action to accomplish this.

AIC will actively promote positive images of women and men and their needs, interests and views.

4. Objectives

To ensure that AIC’s structures (Board of Directors, members, committees and staff) budgetary and policy frameworks support its vision of Gender Equality.

To ensure that the programmatic choices AIC makes support its vision of Gender Equality.

To ensure that the partnership choices AIC makes support its vision of Gender Equality.

To ensure that the success of AIC GE work is conveyed to others in the contemporary agricultural community.

5. Implementation Strategy

Gender mainstreaming will be the primary strategy by which AIC implements its Gender Equality policy. Gender mainstreaming addresses Gender Equality at both the Organizational and the Program levels.

The organizational level includes structure, practice or process and policy, the aspects that guide and govern how things are done. It is at this level that systemic problems exist which must be resolved to enable Gender Equality to progress.

The program level puts the policy and process into action and includes management, consultation, monitoring, analysis and reporting.

AIC’s strategy for gender mainstreaming seeks to ensure that the Gender Equality Principles are used in planning, implementation, analysis, monitoring and evaluation, reporting and communications.

6. Accountability and Measurement

As the governing body of AIC, the Board of Directors, is vested with the overall accountability and responsibility for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this policy.

The CEO will ensure that decision making within AIC is done with reference to any policy or strategy adopted by the board regarding Gender Equality and its definition, scope, policy and strategy.

The AIC Board of Directors will decide on key measurable indicators, request regular reports on Gender Equality and review them on a semi-annual basis to ensure the organization is achieving progress.