Battle against hunger lost without gender empowerment

Thalif Deen – Thomson Reuters Foundaton – AlertNet via  IPS – Inter Press Service – Friday 7 June, 2013

Beijing woman farmer
A farmer takes a nap on a field during a break in Langfang, Hebei province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Beijing, May 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

UNITED NATIONS, Jun 6 2013 (IPS) – When the United Nations launched its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) back in 2001, two of its primary objectives were to halve extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 and promote gender empowerment worldwide.

But the links between the two remain unhinged, warns Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder of Food Tank, a food think tank “focused on feeding the world better”.
Asked about the relationship between the two, she told IPS: “Without improving gender equity and women’s empowerment, it will be impossible to improve food security.”

She pointed out that women make up at least 43 percent of the global labour force working in agriculture; and in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, women make up 80 percent of all farmers. . .

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