SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Hunger has a woman’s face. In nearly two-thirds of countries, women are more likely than men to report food insecurity. The world’s worst food insecurity is in sub-Saharan Africa, affecting half the population. Yet, 10 per cent of women in the United Kingdom also cannot count on having enough nutritious food, a share slightly higher than for men.
Women and girls prepare most of the world’s household meals and grow much of its food. Globally, almost one third of employed women work in agriculture, not accounting for self-employed and unpaid family workers. Yet, only 13 per cent women are landholders. In some parts of the world, such as South Asia and sub Saharan Africa, more than 60 per cent of all working women are working in agriculture, concentrated informal and poorly paid jobs with little or no social protection. Not having equal access to land or credit, technology and markets leaves many on the margins of subsistence agriculture.
When times are tough, gender discrimination means women and girls may be the first to eat less, even as they work harder to secure food for their households. For pregnant and lactating women, inadequate food and poor nutrition imposes a risk of anemia, a leading cause of death during childbirth.
UN Women acts to stop hunger by supporting women’s role in food security, as the cornerstones of food production and utilization. This is often through advancing gender- and climate-smart agricultural policies. We help rural women access and control productive resources to increase their income security and sustain higher agricultural productivity.
From where I stand: “We barely had a meal in three days”
Florence Luanda Maheshe found herself in a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo with six children to feed and barely enough food. Once the camp closed, she was left with no support. Access to a small piece of land and assistance from an NGO supported by UN Women helped Maheshe reclaim her life.
Indigenous women in Peru combat climate change and boost economy
The indigenous women of Laramate in Peru saw their crops shrivel in drought and rot under untimely rain, and their children became malnourished with falling production. But with the support of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, these women have turned to their ancestral techniques of cultivating the land with astounding results.
Across the Western Balkans, rural women are influencing local budgets and shaping progress
In Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Moldova, UN Women is working with governments to implement gender equality commitments and women’s participation in decision-making. With the help of a subsidy scheme, Gentiana Sinjari installed a drip irrigation system essential for her crops’ survival, and Zilha Kureševic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who lost her job as an accountant and was looking for ways to feed her family, started cultivating strawberries with the help of an agricultural scheme.