Farm Women and Canadian Agricultural Policy

While women play a critical role in the day-to-day operation of Canadian farms and the Canadian government have committed to achieving gender equality at all levels of decision making, there has been no explicit effort to identify farm women’s policy needs or their vision of an inclusive Canadian agricultural policy. This research project documents critical issues that rural women and girls believe need to be fully integrated into Canadian agricultural policy. In five regional workshops across Canada, during the winter of 2003­ 2004, farm women expressed deep connections with their farms and communities despite overwhelming social and economic pressures. Farm women established that the major stress in their lives and the lives of their families is the farm financial crisis created primarily by current government policy directions and corporatization of agriculture. Women confirmed that if these root causes of the financial crisis were solved, the quality of life in rural communities, and their health and environment would improve.

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