In focus: Women and Zero Hunger

unwomen-logoGuest blog from UN Women

 

Women prepare up to 90 per cent of meals in households around the world, yet when times are tough, women and girls may be the first to eat less. Households headed by women may not eat enough simply because women earn at lower levels, and are less prepared to cope with sudden crisis.

Credit: Farming First and FAO.

Credit: Farming First and FAO.

Nourishment is not just about the quantity of food, but its quality. In poor households, women can be less likely to get the nutrients they need, including to manage the physical demands of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Gender inequality intersects with inadequate health care, insufficient education and limited income to drive these deprivations.

Inequities in food consumption stand in contrast to women’s significant role in agricultural production. They comprise on average 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, and over 50 per cent in parts of Asia and Africa. Yet their potential contribution to food security remains constrained by unequal access to land and other productive assets.

Ending hunger means that all women can consume enough food with adequate nutrients. All women working in agriculture, if unshackled from discrimination, can contribute to greater global food security.

UN Women acts to stop hunger by supporting women’s role in food security, as the cornerstones of food production and utilization. We provide training for women farmers and access to information and technology, to help women can achieve significantly higher agricultural productivity. UN Women also raises awareness among rural women and decision-makers alike, on the need for legal changes to allow more equitable distribution of assets, such as land and credit. The entity also steers the online global knowledge hub Empower.org, where women can share practical knowledge around food production and technology.

Read stories and learn more at the UN Women website

Photo: UN Women/Janarbek Amankulov

Photo: UN Women/Janarbek Amankulov