SOCIAL INCLUSION is the process of improving the terms for individuals and groups to take part in their society. It aims to empower poor and marginalized people to take advantage of opportunities and that they have a voice in decisions which affect their lives, that they enjoy equal access to markets, services, political, social and physical spaces.
Gender Inequality and Food Security – Gender issues in Asia
In developing countries as Asia, 79 percent of economically active women spend their working hours producing food through agriculture. Women are 43 percent of the farming work force.
Yields for women farmers are 20-30 percent lower than for men. This is because women have less access to improved seeds, fertilizers and equipment. Giving women farmers more resources could bring the number of hungry people in the world down by 100-150 million people.
Surveys in a wide range of countries have shown that 85-90 percent of the time spent on household food preparation is women’s time.
In some countries, tradition dictates that women eat last, after all the male members and children have been fed.
When a crisis hits, women are generally the first to sacrifice their food consumption, in order to protect the food consumption of their families.
Malnourished mothers are more likely to give birth to underweight babies. Underweight babies are 20 percent more likely to die before the age of five.
Around half of all pregnant women in developing countries are anemic. This causes around 110,000 deaths during childbirth each year. Research confirms that, in the hands of women, an increase in family income improves children’s health and nutrition.
Education is key. One study showed that women’s education contributed 43 percent of the reduction in child malnutrition over time, while food availability accounted for 26 percent.
Women in Agriculture: Closing the Gender Gap for Development, FAO, March 2011 (Facts 2, 3, 9,
Womens’ unequal access to land, livestock, labor, education, extension, financial services, and technology has led to a significant gender yield gap, on average 20 to 30 percent lower than men’s fields, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Coordination of actions to highlight the fundamental role played by women in guaranteeing Food Sovereignty – not only as a means of confronting the food crisis in developing Asia but as an essential ethical principle that has as its basis in social justice and equality.
Prevailing violence, against women specifically, undermines family and food security. The agribusiness model and capitalist interests in the countryside have exacerbated social and particularly gender inequalities in Asia. It is in this struggle against patriarchy, which affects all aspects of lives in Asian families, organizations and communities and all that has to do with gender and sexuality.