Women’s nutrition is a matter of equity
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.
Globally, women have far higher rates of malnutrition than men – an unacceptable fact that is rooted in matters of equity and empowerment: Could point to the stat boxes – 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.
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.
As things stand, across countries of all income status, women often eat last and least. During the pandemic, women and children continue to be the hardest hit.
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 (check reference).
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:
- MNF is hosting and leading The Anemia Alliance, as part of the Women’s Nutrition, Empowerment, and Leadership Solution Cluster within the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track 1.
- MNF is hosting Standing Together 4 Nutrition – A consortium of global experts that provides cross-sectoral estimates on how the pandemic is impacting women’s nutrition.
- MNF hosts The Healthy Mothers Health Babies Consortium – which aims to accelerate maternal nutrition and the effective uptake of Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) during pregnancy.
- MNF is working with the global nutrition community to support bold and SMART commitment-making by the donor and host governments, philanthropy, multilateral, the private sector, civil society, innovative funds, and other stakeholders within the Food Systems Summit and Tokyo’s Nutrition for Growth Summit.
- Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Women Nutrition: A Commitment-making Guide for the UN Food Systems Summit
- Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Event Brief: Women Nutrition: Resilience and Recovery on the Road to 2030
- Health Talks Event Video: Women Nutrition: Resilience and Recovery on the Road to 2030
- The 2021 Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Health
- Malnutrition is sexist: The determinants of nutrition for women and girls, RESULTS UK
- ST4N gendered research