Women Farmers Can Reduce Hunger
11 March, 2013
Giving women farmers more resources could bring the number of hungry people in the world down by 100 - 150 million people.
A fact sheet* said:
Women are often victims of hunger. They also have a crucial role to play in defeating hunger. As mothers, farmers, teachers and entrepreneurs, they hold the key to building a future free of malnutrition.
In developing countries, 79% of economically active women spend their working hours producing food, working in agriculture. Women are 43% of the farming work force.
Women have less access to improved seeds, fertilizers and equipment. This leads to 20-30 percent lower yields for women farmers than for men.
Surveys in a wide range of countries have shown that 85 - 90 percent of the time spent on household food preparation is women’s time.
In some countries, tradition dictates that women eat last, after all the male members and children have been fed.
When a crisis hits, women are generally the first to sacrifice their food consumption, in order to protect the food consumption of their families.
Malnourished mothers are more likely to give birth to underweight babies. Underweight babies are 20 percent more likely to die before the age of five.
Around half of all pregnant women in developing countries are anaemic. This causes around 110,000 deaths during child birth each year.
Research confirms that, in the hands of women, an increase in family income improves children’s health and nutrition.
One study showed that women's education contributed 43% of the reduction in child malnutrition over time, while food availability accounted for 26%.
* WFP, March 5, 2013, http://www.wfp.org/stories/10-facts-about-women-and-hunger
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