Session 5 – Gender + Food


  • In this session, we will focus on gender and how it relates to and shapes issues of inequity in the food system.
  • In tutorial rooms, your TA will review your proposal and give you feedback to make revisions.


After completing this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Articulate the ways in which gender issues relate to food justice and community food security
  • Identify areas of improvement for your proposal

Key Terms + Concepts

  • Gender and food justice

Required Readings + Resources

Gender + Food Systems

"Whether or not we like to admit it, our food practices remain profoundly gendered." (Brady et al, 2017, p. 81).

Despite advancements in divisions of labour in Canadian households over the past few decades, women are more likely to be engaged in, and responsible for, food and foodwork. And food practices are still tightly associated with our social construction of femininity and contribute to dominant social expectations about the performance of "being a woman" in Canada. Adopting a feminist perspective reveals patterns of inequality in the food system as they relate to women's paid and unpaid labour. As noted by Allen and Sachs (2012, p. 1), there are contradictions within women's positions and experiences in relation to food and food systems: "women perform the majority of food-related work, but they control few resources and hold little decision-making power in the food industry and food policy. And, although women bear responsibility for nourishing others, they often do not adequately nourish themselves." In this week's lecture, we will discuss ways in which oppression operates to prevent women from freely participating in an equitable food system.


  • Allen, P., & Sachs, C. (2012). Women and food chains: The gendered politics of food. Taking food public: Redefining foodways in a changing world, 23-40.
  • Brady J., Power, E. Szabo, M. & Gingras, J. (2017). Still Hungry for a Feminist Food Studies. in Critical perspectives in food studies (Second ed.). Eds. Winson, A., Sumner, J., & Koç, M. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press. pp. 81-94.

Tutorial Session

In your tutorial session, your TA will guide you through the following:

  • (15mins) Individual and group discussion of key concepts and themes from lecture
  • (60mins) Discussion Triads - 5 min presentation + 5 min discussion within TA and 3 groups, then repeat with other 3 groups.
  1. Structure presentation so it maps onto the proposal sections and content
  2. This is a feedback opportunity. To make the most of your time, prepare questions for your peers + TA (e.g. significance - are we framing this correctly? objectives - are there too many? methods - will our proposed activities address the objectives?)
  • (45mins) Integrate TA and peer feedback into proposal and/or work on other project objectives

Additional Material

  • Allen, P., & Sachs, C. (2012). Women and food chains: The gendered politics of food. Taking food public: Redefining foodways in a changing world, 23-40.

A must read to begin a deep dive into gendered politics of food.

Just like any other male-dominated industry, women fishers face discrimination, harassment and other gender-based disparities.