Tuesday, March 8 – International Women’s Day – Global Affairs Canada announced a $67.5 million investment “for projects putting gender equality at heart of climate action“. The investment includes $14.8 million for Rural Women Cultivating Change, an initiative led by SeedChange in partnership with eight civil society organizations including Coady Institute.

“This program will reach 32,500 women farmers and their allies of all genders to promote women’s leadership in ecological agriculture. ‘Rural Women Cultivating Change’ will also aim to increase women’s access to the resources they need, as well as help them better combat climate change and violence against women in their community. We are proud to bring together the expertise of partners dedicated to supporting women’s rights and combatting sexual and gender-based violence with other partners specialized in agroecology and rural issues for this innovative program.” – SeedChange

In addition to SeedChange and Coady Institute, partner organizations include WE-Action Ethiopia, Institute for Sustainable Development Ethiopia, GROOTS Kenya, SeedSavers Network Kenya, HIVOS East Africa, PELUM Tanzania, and longtime Coady partner, Tanzania Gender Networking Program TGNP.

“Women and girls are disproportionately vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change, biodiversity loss and natural disasters. Women and girls are the ones most impacted by natural disasters and the first to go without food when crops fail. At the same time, they are essential change leaders and knowledge keepers in adaptation and mitigation efforts. More needs to be done to take their needs and expertise into account, which is why we will continue to support increasing the participation of women as leaders in climate change action around the world.”

Harjit S. Sajjan

Minister of International Development; Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

About Rural Women Cultivating Change

This project will target remote rural regions of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, where farming is the primary occupation and principal use of women’s labour. The target regions are negatively impacted by climate change, food insecurity and patriarchal norms and practices that severely limit women’s household and community leadership roles, including with regard to agricultural practices. Through the use of agro-ecological approaches that encourage equitable production, sustainable resource management and market access, this project will empower women and encourage gender-transformative change. Working in collaboration with women’s rights and agriculturally-based organizations, support will be provided to advance climate adaptation, increase food security, enhance gender equality, reduce sexual and gender-based violence and improve livelihoods for rural women.