Stand Up for Women

At the Micronutrient Forum, we see women as active agents within their homes, communities and nations. The wellbeing of women is essential to the strength of families, communities and nations – and this resilience is being tested now more than ever.

Women keep our global food system working – they are the entrepreneurs, farmers, laborers, food producers, vendors, marketers, caterers, chefs, transporters, agribusiness innovators and occupy many unseen roles. 

 

While working hard in these roles, women are also caretakers - for their children, their families, the ill, the elderly – ensuring that everyone has enough food, water and shelter. 

 

Yet, in 2021, women make less money than men and occupy fewer positions of leadership, particularly in food value chains. As things stand, across countries of all income status, women often eat last and least. During the pandemic, women and children have been hardest hit. 

 
Globally, women have far higher rates of malnutrition than men – an unacceptable fact that is rooted in matters of equity and empowerment:  A World Bank study found that women’s nutritional status is driven more by intra-household inequity than poverty – with 75% of underweight women living in households where the man was not underweight. 
 

Together, we can turn things around for women. Good nutrition for women underpins their resilience and immunity and is foundational for the development of communities and nations. Good nutrition enables girls and adolescents to reach higher academic potential, higher earnings, and is correlated with other empowerment measures such as marrying later.

Women have higher nutritional needs than men – women need x 2.5 more iron to stay healthy.

40% of pregnant women suffer from anemia worldwide (WHO)

4.8 M additional pregnant women will suffer from anemia due to COVID-19 (ST4N)

75% underweight women in Sub-Saharan Africa live with men who are not underweight (World Bank)

At MNF, we are working to inspire action on the ground and change global public policy.

Examples of how we are standing up for women and their nutrition:  

  • Hosting Standing Together for Nutrition – A consortium of global experts that provides cross-sectoral estimates on how the pandemic is impacting women’s nutrition.
  • Working with the global nutrition community to support bold and SMART commitment-making by the donor and host governments, philanthropy, multilaterals, the private sector, civil society, innovative funds, and other stakeholders within the UN Food Systems Summit and Tokyo’s Nutrition for Growth Summit.  

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