Gender and Assets for Food Security Lena Heron USAID Bureau of Food Security October 2011
The Challenge• 925 million people undernourished• 3.5 million children die from undernutrition each year• Global food supplies need to increase by an estimated 50 percent to meet expected demand by 2030.Women and children are disproportionately representedamongst the one billion people around the world sufferingfrom chronic hunger.
L’Aquila Food Security Initiative• 2009 G-8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy – President Obama pledged $3.5 billion over 3 years for agriculture-led development – Other donors pledged more than $18.5 billion in support• 2009 World Summit on Food Security – 193 countries endorsed a common approach based five shared principles
Feed the Future pursues two paths:• Addressing the root causes of hunger.• Aligning our resources with country-owned processes and sustained, multi-stakeholder partnerships.Key Objectives• Inclusive Agriculture Sector Growth• Improved Nutritional StatusCross cutting Priorities• Gender• Environment/Climate Change
Gender in the context of Feed the Future: There is consistent and compelling evidence that when the status of women is improved, agricultural productivity increases, poverty is reduced, and nutrition improves. Achieving global food security will require… • Recognizing the contribution of women to agricultural production, and • Reducing gender inequality.
Women – the majority of the agricultural workforce,yet often: • Lack access to land, water and other productive assets; • Lack access to credit, improved inputs, training and information; • Have more limited access to markets; • Experience a greater time burden associated with caregiving and household responsibilities; • Have less control over household decision making.
But how do we empower women? Gender inequalities are embedded in laws, rules and social norms. • In order to improve women’s access to and control over assets, we must fully understand the current patterns of access access—both the pros and cons. • In order to effectively improve women’s access to and control over assets, their rights must be ensured both in law and practice. • Approach change holistically. . .
• Why the gender gap is important;• Results from a multi-country study to measure the gap in women’s access;• Drill down into specifics of access and various approaches to improve access in different development contexts;• New efforts at USAID to measure women’s empowerment;• Open discussion of implications for programming.
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