Fruitful discussions and very positive outcomes during our 1st Annual Meeting and showcase event

GRASS CEILING project held from 12-14 September its first annual meeting and showcase event at the COPA-COGECA headquarters in Brussels. During the three-day meeting, full of presentations and advance results, project partners and relevant stakeholders discussed how to advance gender equality, empowerment of rural women and presented different initiatives that are being carried out in the 9 GRASS CEILING living labs.

During the first day, the project coordinator Sally Shortall welcomed participants and reviewed all the progress made during the first 9 months of the project. Then it was the turn of Tomas Baležentis from Lietuvos Socialiniu Mokslu Centras (LCSS) and Nataša Bokan from Sveuciliste U Zagrebu Agronomski Fakultet (UNI-ZAG FAZ) who presented the results of the reports “Policy brief on the available data on rural women and women farmers across Europe” and “Report on existing knowledge of rural women-led innovation” respectively.

The showcase event, held on 13 September, focused on our sister projects, success stories from the different Living Labs and the different European policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment in rural areas. The session started with the presentation of the European projects FLIARA and SWIFT, by their coordinators Maura Farrel (University of Galway) and Marta Rivera (CSIC-UPV). Afterwards, Julie de Galard from the Rural Pact Support Office (RPSO) presented the vision of the Rural Pact and its Community Groups that are dedicated online spaces within the Rural Pact Community Platform (RPCP) that bring together stakeholders to connect with peers, exchange, share information such as publications, news, events or implement any other joint action around a specific shared interest or topic relevant for the Rural Vision.

The Living Lab session, led by Leana Reinl and Melanie Thompson, opened with an overview of the aims of the living labs and the activities carried out and to come, followed by presentations by the living lab managers and women innovators. Jasminka Grškovic (Croatia), Catherine Kinsella (Ireland), Miriam Del Re (Italy), Lina Vyšniauskaite (Lithuania), Sonja van Uden (the Netherlands), Kari Øye (Norway), Lucía Velasco (Spain), Elin Skörde (Sweden) and Beth Rose (Scotland) presented their innovations in various sectors such as livestock farming, crofting, chicken farming, healthy products from marine resources, as well as their great work to empower rural women, the difficult journey they have had to follow to be able to carry out their innovations and their passion for the land and the rural areas. Great examples that can encourage other young women farmers to launch their own projects and demonstrate the role of women in agriculture, the rural economy and rural communities.

Finally, on the third day, the consortium meeting focused on the next activities to be carried out, the community group ‘Women in Rural Areas’ and a communication workshop by CIHEAM Zaragoza on how to communicate the results of the project.

Thank you everyone for contributing to the success of our annual #GRASSCEILING show case event and consortium meeting!!