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Poverty, food security and nutrition - linking SDGs through women agricultural workers

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Haris Gazdar's presentation at a seminar on 'The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- Pakistan’s Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Challenges: Issues and Progress' organised by Agha Khan University, November 2017

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Poverty, food security and nutrition - linking SDGs through women agricultural workers

  1. 1. Poverty, food security and nutrition – linking SDGs through women agricultural workers Haris Gazdar Seminar on Sustainable Development Goals, 18 November 2017, AKU, Karachi
  2. 2. Poverty, food security and nutrition • Steady decline in money-metric poverty rates (SDGs 1.1 and 1.2) • But slow/stagnant trends in hunger, food security, nutrition (SDGs 2.1, 2.2), despite progress in agriculture (SDG 2.3) • Promising progress in social protection (SDG 1.3) Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere 1.1 Eradicate extreme (money metric) poverty 1.2 Reduce by half the proportion in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions 1.3 Social protection systems Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition; sustainable agriculture 2.1 Ensure access by all to safe, nutritious and sufficient food 2.2 End stunting and wasting, nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating women 2.3 Double agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers….women …including through secure and equal access to land, markets and opportunities
  3. 3. Women’s agricultural work and nutrition • Positive: women’s consumption choices pro- nutrition • Negative: women’ energy requirements unmet • Intrahousehold distribution, getting behind SDG 1.1 • Negative: work-care time trade-off • Burden of unpaid care/domestic work (SDG 5.4) • Women’s Work and Nutrition (WWN) Survey • Qualitative research in Punjab and Sindh • Representative sample of irrigated rural areas of Sindh • Relationship between women’s (agricultural work) and their nutrition and the nutrition of their children Goal 5:Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
  4. 4. Research findings • High level of gender specialisation of agricultural work • Women’s work: Livestock, weeding, cotton/vegetable harvest • Women and men’s work: wheat, rice harvesting • Much higher rates of women’s work participation than measured in national data • Asking about ’work’ versus ‘activities’ • National data:‘contributory family help’ • Correlation between women’s work in intensive agricultural activities and malnutrition • Women who worked in cotton-harvesting had significantly lower BMI than others (SDG 2.1) • When they worked during pregnancy their new-borns were significantly more likely to be smaller (stunting SDG 2.2)
  5. 5. Discussion • Harsh trade-off • Good nutrition needs resources and time • Families desperately trying to provide both • Price paid by women – and through them by children • Recognition is key to start redressing • Gender inequality and poor outcomes • Low-wage, unpaid work not just poor outcomes for women, but for all • Recognition will be resisted, but has potential benefits for all • Analytical frameworks • Time and effort – not just land – as key economic resource, particularly of women • Growth strategy cannot take for granted these will be valued
  6. 6. Implications • Data • Measure women’s ‘economic’ contribution properly even if no consensus on unpaid care/domestic work • National policies/programmes • Recognise, protect, promote rights of women workers – important not only for women, but for nutrition • Global system • See clearer links, negative as well as positive, between different development goals (e.g SDGs 1, 2 and 5) – SDG 1 improved, not so SDG 2, partly because of issues in SDG 5 remaining unaddressed • Be explicit about time and labour being economic resources (e.g. in SDG 1.4, 5A), and about who gets value from agricultural productivity (SDG 2.3) 5.A Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws 5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work…..

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