Ladies, we make the world go ’round. I found this article on http://www.wfp.org (World Food Programme). It is empowering and shows that, YES, WE CAN STILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. In areas of the world that are deemed too impossible for change, it shows that we have simply given up. Positive change is a progression, a continuation on implementing small, but critical steps necessary that influence “the big picture”. As in any business or relationship, don’t we already know that small steps set the precedent for larger change? It requires us to be proactive rather than reactive: simply putting out fires. To see the effects of positive change sometimes takes generations. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a starting point. It is unfortunate that the devastating consequences of political power, greed, and subjugation are always suffered by helpless and innocent civilians at the bottom end of the Totem Pole. Take some time to scroll through this website, I found it very educational and informative.

 

 

“People often ask: What can be done to defeat hunger? My answer is simple: empower women, because women are the secret weapon to fight hunger.” — WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran 

Women make up a little over half of the world’s population but in many parts of the world, especially in Asia and South America, they are more likely to go hungry than men. This is because women often have unequal access to resources, education and income, and because they participate less in decision-making.

But women are not merely victims of hunger. They are also the most effective solution to combating and preventing hunger. In many countries, women make up the bulk of agricultural labourers and are the backbone of food production systems.

Women also play a key role in guaranteeing food security for the household. Experience shows that in the hands of women, food is far more likely to reach the mouths of needy children

 

Some 60 percent of the world’s chronically hungry people are women and girls. This is because women often have unequal access to resources, education and income, and because they participate less in decision-making.

 

 

And when hunger and undernutrition affect women, they also affect their children. More than 19 million children are born annually with low birth weight, often the result of their mothers receiving inadequate nutrition before and during pregnancy.

Inherited hunger

These babies are 20 times more likely to die in infancy, and those who survive are more likely to remain malnourished throughout childhood. It is also likely they will face health and learning difficulties all their lives.

This means that hunger and its effects are passed from generation to generation.

But women are not merely victims of hunger. They are also the most effective solution to combating and preventing hunger.

Women as solution

In many countries, women form the backbone of the agricultural sector and food systems, making up the bulk of agricultural labourers.They also play a key role in guaranteeing food security for the entire household.

Experience shows that in the hands of women, food is far more likely to reach the mouths of needy children.

WFP is committed to using its policies, programmes and actions to promote women’s empowerment as a key to improving food security for all.  (For more information, check out WFP’s Gender Policy)

Key facts
  • Eight out of 10 people engaged in farming in Africa are women and six out of 10 in Asia.
  • In one out of three households around the world, women are the sole breadwinners.
  • A lack of iron in women’s diets leads to an estimated 111,000 maternal deaths each year.
  • When income is in the hands of the mother, the survival probability of a child increases by about 20 percent in Brazil.

With restricted access to jobs, income, land, agricultural inputs and other resources, it is an everyday challenge for women in the developing world to feed their families.

WFP works to improve women’s access to food and sustainable livelihoods by implementing Food for Work and Food for Training programmes that take into consideration their distinct needs and priorities.

Empowering women

Food for Work and Food for Training programmes are local initiatives that provide food rations to beneficiaries in exchange for work that profits their communities, such as building schools or sanitary facilities, or for they time they spend learning new skills like nutritional education or small business management.

Giving women the tools to thrive

A programme in Bangladesh which provides women with flour while they take time off to learn basic business skills is just one example of how Food for Training helps women lift themselves out of poverty.

WFP aims to ensure that men and women are equally represented in the local committees that select Food for Work and Food for Training activities, that they participate equally and receive at least half of the assets generated.

As a result, an increasing number of projects focus on creating resources used by women, such as stoves and vegetable gardens, and improving conditions within their traditional sectors of activity such as keeping their homes replenished with water.

Looking ahead

Going forward, WFP plans to take steps to further facilitate women’s participation, including considering the incorporation of support systems such as childcare facilities into the programmes, and using them to further educate and engage men in household responsibilities.

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