Global Hunger And Gender Inequality


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Presentation by Agnes Quisumbing. IFPRI policy seminar on Global Hunger Index November 19 2009

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  • Overall, there is a strong, negative correlation between gender equality and global hunger. Component with highest correlation with global hunger is the education sub-index, followed by the health sub-index.
  • In talking about the GHI 2009 report, I have often been asked, is it women’s low education that leads to higher rates of hunger? I say it’s not low education per se, but the GAP between men’s and women’s education and other outcomes that is correlated with global hunger. We need to MIND THE GAP.
  • Global Hunger And Gender Inequality

    1. 1. Global Hunger and Gender Inequality November 19, 2009 Agnes Quisumbing IFPRI
    2. 2. What’s new about this year’s GHI? <ul><li>Focus on the financial crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Examine more closely the links between gender inequality and the global hunger index </li></ul><ul><li>Builds on IFPRI’s work showing the gains to eliminating gender disparities </li></ul>Page
    3. 3. The Gender Gap Index <ul><li>Gender Gap Index (Hausman, Tyson, and Zahidi 2007) was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 to increase awareness of challenges that result from gender disparities and to contribute to effective measures to reduce this gap </li></ul><ul><li>Like the GHI, it is generated annually </li></ul><ul><li>Examines the gap between men and women in 115 countries in four categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>economic participation and opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>educational attainment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>health and survival </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>political empowerment </li></ul></ul>Page
    4. 4. Components of the Gender Gap Index <ul><li>Economic participation and opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Differences in labor force participation rates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ratio of estimated female to male earned income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Female to male wage ratio for equal work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ratio of women to men among legislators, senior officials, managers, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ratio of women to men among technical and professional workers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Educational attainment : ratios of women to men in primary, secondary, tertiary education </li></ul><ul><li>Health and survival : differences between women and men’s healthy life expectancy and sex ratio at birth </li></ul><ul><li>Political empowerment : ratio of women to men in minister-level, parliamentary positions, and terms of years in executive office in last 50 years </li></ul>Page
    5. 5. Correlating the GHI with the gender gap index <ul><li>Because richer countries have more resources, gender gap index is based on outcomes rather than inputs </li></ul><ul><li>Highest possible score is one (perfect equality) </li></ul><ul><li>Lowest possible score is zero (perfect inequality) </li></ul><ul><li>For the GHI, higher numbers are bad (more hunger), lower numbers are good </li></ul><ul><li>We compute pairwise correlation coefficients for 90 countries for which data on both are available </li></ul><ul><li>Negative correlation implies that greater gender inequality is correlated with more hunger </li></ul>Page
    6. 6. October 14, 2008
    7. 7. Page 2009 GHI and the Education Subindex of the 2008 Gender Gap Index, 90 Countries
    8. 8. The relationship between GHI and gender inequality varies across regions Page
    9. 9. In South Asia… <ul><li>The strongest correlation with the GHI is with the health and survival subindex </li></ul><ul><li>Four out of 5 countries (except Sri Lanka) rank between 80 th and 88 th of 90 countries in the health and survival subindex </li></ul><ul><li>Linked with the low status of women: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maternal malnutrition linked with low birthweight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Micronutrient malnutrition linked with poor prenatal and postnatal health of mothers </li></ul></ul>Page
    10. 10. In Sub-Saharan Africa… <ul><li>Highest correlation of the GHI with gender inequality is in education </li></ul><ul><li>Less than a quarter of countries in region met MDG goal of gender parity in primary and secondary enrollment rates in 2005 </li></ul>Page
    11. 11. In Middle East and North Africa <ul><li>Despite lower levels of hunger compared to South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the negative relationship between hunger and gender equality still holds </li></ul><ul><li>Main driver is education inequality </li></ul>Page
    12. 12. Reducing hunger by reducing gender inequality
    13. 13. Closing the gap in education and health <ul><ul><li>Continue reducing gender inequalities in education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce costs to parents, for example, conditional cash transfer programs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve quality, gender balance, attitudes of teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make school safe for girls </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce time costs for girls </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in women’s health and nutrition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in women’s and girls’ nutrition over the life cycle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build support for women’s empowerment in communities </li></ul></ul></ul>Page
    14. 14. Closing the gap in economic and political participation <ul><ul><li>Reduce gender gaps in economic participation and opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remove barriers to labor market participation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen women’s property rights to land and other assets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reform legal systems to eliminate gender discrimination and increase political participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reform of statutory laws and constitutions to disallow discrimination </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve women’s voice and participation at local levels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improve legal awareness </li></ul></ul></ul>Page