Mothers Rule the World
On May 10, 2012, WFP USA hosted an interactive webcast in recognition of Mother’s Day and women’s empowerment. Isatou Jallow, chief of women, children and gender policy at the U.N. World Food Program and Rick Leach, president and CEO of WFP USA discussed the critical role that mothers play in improving household food security and the nutritional wellbeing of their children.
|Isatou Jallow||Rick Leach|
Isatou Jallow gave an overview of WFP’s efforts to put food and other resources in the hands of women to improve not only their lives, but the lives of their families and entire communities. She provided examples of how WFP’s Gender Innovations Fund is promoting gender equality while addressing issues of food insecurity and hunger. “Healthy moms, mean healthy kids and healthy communities,” said Jallow, “Women grow, process, prepare and serve most of the food people eat. Therefore food security and nutrition of a household or of a community must take into account women’s multiple roles: her productive role, her reproductive role and her social role.”
Women and the Fight Against Global Hunger
The discussion focused on the vital role women have in addressing issues of food security and hunger. Food is most likely to reach children in need when it is given to women. Women are most frequently the ones who prepare the food for the whole family and are the key to improving household food security and nutritional wellbeing.
WFP is promoting positive gender relations and supporting sustainable livelihoods through programs such as Purchase 4 Progress ©WFP
Jallow emphasized, “Gender equality is essential to alleviating hunger and poverty.” She cited statistics that show if women in developing countries had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 percent and lift between 100 and 150 million people out of hunger. "Ending global hunger is only possible if men, women, girls and boys are seen as equal," said Rick Leach.
WFP’s policy for many years has been to put food in the hands of women, but in recent years WFP’s gender policy has transitioned from not only supporting women because it is the right thing to do or because they are vulnerable, but empowering women and promoting gender equality because it’s smart economics and it leads to the development results we want.
Read Women and Hunger: 10 Facts to learn more about WFP's focus on women.©WFP
“Ultimately, the effective implementation of WFP’s Gender Policy will increase the effectiveness and sustainability of programs addressing poverty and hunger,” Jallow said, in her closing remarks.
Because of their essential role in ensuring food security, WFP puts women — mothers, girls, female farmers — at the center of their efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition, with a particular emphasis on the critical first 1,000 days of life.
Read this great blog post "WFP: Feeding Women, Girls, Families" by Jennifer James, Mom Bloggers For Social Good