Women Ae Hungrier Because of Gender Inequality


In countries facing conflict and hunger, women often eat last and least – sacrificing for their families. But empowering women and girls can end hunger for good, and transform whole communities in the process.


Of the 349 million people who are severely hungry in the world right now, nearly 60% are women and girls


In nearly two-thirds of countries, women are more likely than men to report food insecurity

1 in 3

The proportion of women with anemia, a diet-related iron deficiency that can cause organ damage if left untreated

Women Are Fighting For:

Food Security

Of the 349 million people who are severely hungry in the world right now, nearly 60% are women and girls. Each cause of unequal treatment reinforces the others, trapping women in a cycle of disadvantage, poverty and hunger. But good nutrition can keep women healthy and help girls stay in school, increasing their economic opportunities.

Source: Slideshow Photo: WFP/Leni Kinzli

Fair Pay

Women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men do and earn 23% less for paid work. But when they do earn an income, they reinvest 90% of their resources back into their families and communities – jumpstarting a cycle of change that can last generations.

Source: Slideshow Photo: WFP/Hugh Rutherford

Equal Rights

More than half of the world's agricultural workers are women, yet they make up just 13% of land owners. Often, they're not allowed to own the land they work on or make financial decisions.

Source: Slideshow Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud

Legal Protections

On average, women have only three-quarters of the legal protections given to men. In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working. There are no laws protecting women from domestic violence in 49 countries.

Source: Slideshow Photo: WFP/Cesar Lopez

Gender Equality

Practices like childhood marriage have severe implications for women's health, cut short their education, curb their potential and make them almost entirely dependent on men. Globally, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 every year.

Source: Slideshow Photo: FAO/IFAD/WFP/Luis Tato

Cultural Traditions

In some countries, tradition simply dictates that women should eat last, after all the male members and children have been fed. At the same time, 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.

Source: Slideshow Photo: WFP/Saikat Mojumder
With Your Help, We Can...
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Teach Women New Skills

Patience’s husband became violent with her when their family ran out of food. Now, because of the U.N. World Food Programme’s Food for Assets project, Patience is the primary breadwinner and her husband respects her.

See our programs in action

Enroll Women In School

26-year-old Alaa had no choice but to leave her home in Syria due to brutal violence. She works in a U.N. World Food Programme warehouse now along with hundreds of other displaced women and used the money to put herself through school.

See our programs in action

Provide Women With Housing

Deborah and her children survived in a swamp for two months after fighters burned down their home. Today they’re safe, and the U.N. World Food Programme provides them with beans, flour and cooking oil.

See our programs in action

We're Feeding & Empowering Women

Photo: WFP/Angeli Mendoza
Female Farmers

Nearly half of all small-scale farmers are women, yet they often lack basic resources like fertilizer and equipment. Our training and tools help women earn an income and become self-sufficient.

Photo: WFP/Ratanak Leng
School Meals

Struggling families often send boys to school, rather than girls. But WFP school meals help keep girls in the classroom, setting them up for a lifetime of success and good health.

Photo: WFP/Deborah Nguyen
First 1,000 Days

If babies don’t get the right nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life, it can cause irreversible damage. WFP uses special foods for infants and moms to make sure they survive this critical time.

Photo: WFP/Kauser Haider

Women are often primary shoppers and cooks. WFP delivers e-cards that allow them to purchase groceries, so women in crisis can be reached faster and more efficiently.

Learn More About How Gender Inequality Affects Hunger

Photo: WFP/Marco Frattini/2020 These Are the Top 6 Reasons Women Are Hungrier Than Men Today

In nearly two thirds of the world’s countries, women are more likely than men to suffer from hunger. Here are the top six reasons why.

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Photo: WFP/Georgina Goodwin Women Do 2.6 Times More Domestic Work Than Men. Here's a Look Inside 10 of Their Kitchens.

Imagine cooking a meal without running water, electricity or even a countertop. Most of us wouldn’t know where to begin. And yet, millions of women around the world do it every day. See 10 of their kitchens.

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Women Are Hungry for Change. For Equality. For Food. Meet 10 of Them.

Women face enormous obstacles, yet they are growing crops, delivering medical care, becoming teachers and providing for their families in situations we can hardly imagine.

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Help Fight Gender Inequality

Donate to help deliver food to women and girls who are more vulnerable to hunger.