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Women Are Pivotal to Addressing Hunger, Malnutrition & Poverty

Women farmers clearing abandoned farmland in the drought-affected Nachol village in Northern Bangladesh. Credit: Naimul Haq/IPS

By Lakshmi Puri  -  UN Assistant Secretary-General & Deputy Executive Director of UN Women

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 13 2017 (IPS) - The 16th of October marks World Food Day, a reminder to the international community of the criticality of treating food security as a 21st Century priority if sustainable development, peace and security and the realisation of human rights are to be achieved.

When we think and act on food security we must think and act on gender equality and women’s empowerment as women are not only the ones most affected by food insecurity but are charged with the food and nutrition responsibilities for families and communities in the entire food value chain from growing the crops to bringing food to the table.

Rapid population growth, the slowdown of the global economy, commodity price volatility, the speculative aspects of the trade in food commodity futures, and distortive agricultural and trade policies are compounding factors for continuing food insecurity and hunger. The latest estimates indicate that 795 million people were undernourished globally in 2014-2016, with insufficient food for an active and healthy life.

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State of Food & Agriculture 2017 - Leveraging Food Systems for Inclusive Rural Transformation

Rural areas, too long seen as poverty traps, key to economic growth in developing countries

But sweeping transformations needed to unlock their potential to help feed and employ a younger, more crowded planet - new report

Direct Link to Full 181-Page FAO 2017 Report: http://www.fao.org/3/a-I7658e.pdf

9 October 2017, Rome - Millions of young people in developing countries who are poised to enter the labour force in the coming decades need not flee rural areas to escape poverty, argues a new FAO report published today. Rural areas actually have vast potential for economic growth pegged to food production and related sectors, The State of Food and Agriculture 2017 says. And with the majority of the world's poor and hungry living in these areas, achieving the 2030 development agenda will hinge on unlocking that oft-neglected potential, it adds.

Doing so will require overcoming a thorny combination of low productivity in subsistence agriculture, limited scope for industrialization in many places, and rapid population growth and urbanization — all of which pose challenges to developing nations' capacity to feed and employ their citizens.

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International Day of Rural Women 2017

Photo: UN Women/Narendra Shrestha

Rural women make up over a quarter the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force. They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations. They ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. But when it comes to owning land, accessing agricultural inputs, financing and technologies for climate resilience, they are left far behind men.

Rural women: the invisible mainstay of sustainability

This year, International Day for Rural Women (15 October), focuses on the theme, “Challenges and opportunities in climate-resilient agriculture for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”. The International Day for Rural Women is followed by World Food Day (16 October, themed, “Change the future of Migration: Invest in Food Security and Rural Development”) and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October)—highlighting issues that are inextricably linked with rural women’s empowerment.

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Advocating for Change for Adolescents' Improved Health & Well-Being - Toolkit

Developed by young people, for young people, this toolkit provides guidance to youth networks on the design, implementation, and monitoring of an effective national advocacy action roadmap on adolescent health and wellbeing.

Direct Link to Full 47-Page 2017 Toolkit:

http://womendeliver.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/AdolescentAdvocacyToolkit_DIGITAL_SPREADS.pdf?pdf=Advocacy-Toolkit

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