In a pioneering effort, a white paper titled “Breaking New Ground: Gender in City Region Food Systems (CRFS) in the European Union” has been delivered, aiming to shed light on an essential but often overlooked aspect of CRFS. This paper represents one of the first comprehensive examinations of the intersection of gender, food systems, and urban regions, emphasizing the need for further exploration in this domain.
Within the European Union, a fundamental principle of gender mainstreaming is firmly established, mandating that gender issues be considered in all aspects of policymaking and society. During interviews with food-related professionals from Cities2030 pilot cities, a critical need to raise awareness of gender issues in CRFS became evident. It is evident that further understanding of gender-related matters is required to foster equitable and inclusive food systems.
The White Paper challenges the traditional notion that gender is primarily a concern for women. Instead, it underscores that gender is a matter for everyone, transcending binary boundaries and encompassing all individuals. CRFS structures should be designed to accommodate the full spectrum of gender identities and not merely adapt women to existing systems.
The White Paper presents its conclusions in the form of a “House of Gender.” The foundational rocks are grounded in values and legislation that support gender equality. The pillars that uphold the house include raising common awareness, self-awareness, structural changes, and cultural shifts. The ultimate goal, the dome of the house, is to achieve “Genuine equal chances in CRFS for the variety of gender.”
This White Paper’s primary contribution is initiating a conversation on the subject of “Gender in City Region Food Systems in the European Union” and merging these critical topics for the first time. The paper highlights that there is more to explore, such as understanding the root causes of work segregation, addressing the presence of diverse genders in CRFS, and evaluating the impact of culture on individual choices. By bringing the gender dimension to the forefront of discussions surrounding CRFS, this paper seeks to drive further research and dialogue on this important aspect of food systems, ultimately striving for a more inclusive and equitable approach that accommodates the diversity of gender identities in the European Union.