Side Event – Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit
Simultaneous interpretation in French and Spanish available.
ABOUT THE SESSION
Good nutrition is foundational to women’s health and wellbeing.
The wellbeing of women is essential to the strength of families, communities, and nations. Good nutrition for women begins at birth, continues into adolescence, and enables a woman to transition healthily into adulthood – and later, motherhood if she chooses.
Women’s malnutrition is rising at an alarming rate.
Today, one in three women of reproductive age worldwide suffers from anemia. Global progress and investments to tackle anemia were stagnating even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with no countries on track to meet the World Health Assembly (WHA) anemia target. Unfortunately, the pandemic’s harsh blow on women is projected to push back progress even further as maternal anemia levels rise dramatically by nearly 5 million in the coming years.
Women’s nutrition is a matter of equity.
Women, maternal, and girls’ nutrition is not simply a matter of poverty. It is also born from inequity. Millions of women eat last and least due to discriminatory norms and for most, this does not change during pregnancy – the most critical time for their unborn baby’s development.
Investing in women is critical to economies.
Our failure to invest in the nutrition security and equitable futures of vulnerable women, mothers, and girls is a failure to invest in our collective futures. As both caregivers and providers of households, the adverse sequelae of such vast under-investment ultimately reverberate across communities and nations due to productivity losses and future generations robbed of their full potential. But the economic benefits of investing in society are immense. For example, scaling up prenatal nutrition interventions to 90% coverage across 132 LMICs is estimated to increase lifetime income per birth cohort by $8.3 billion for iron-folic acid and $18.1 billion for multiple micronutrient supplementation.
We must act now!
Decades of limited progress demand re-grouping, re-thinking, and activating a new agenda on women’s nutrition where the complementarity of their health status and equity status are leveraged to drive sustainable improvements with more coordinated investments and actions.
The Nutrition for Growth Summit provides an opportunity to shine a light on women’s rights to health and nutrition. Building upon the Food Systems Summit Gender Coalition, a spotlight on Women’s Nutrition and Equity can powerfully drive bold new and transformative thinking, investments, and actions.
A new Alliance for Anemia Actions, a cross-sector platform driven by national and global stakeholders, is anticipated to be announced at N4G to bridge the Year of Action to a Decade of Actions. By paving a bold path forward with national leadership, new alliances, such as this one, will help grow progress, grow urgency, and grow partnerships to achieving Sustainable Development Goals on nutrition and gender equality in synergy.
In light of the lack of progress and investments on women’s nutrition, showcase the evidence of effective interventions.
Galvanize action on women- and equity-focused interventions at N4G and agree on collective pathways across food and health systems to enhance women’s and girls’ nutrition.
Present SMART and timely N4G commitments to invest in maternal and women nutrition to accelerate action to achieve related WHA and SDG target.