In countries facing famine, extreme conflict and hunger – women often eat last and least. They often have the most responsibilities in the home, but the smallest amount of food, sacrificing themselves for their children.
Of the 821 million people who are food insecure in the world right now, 60 percent are women and girls
In nearly two-thirds of countries, women are more likely than men to report food insecurity
The proportion of women with anemia, a diet-related iron deficiency that can cause organ damage if left untreated
Hungry for Change
Of the 821 million people who are food insecure in the world right now, 60 percent are women and girls.Source: Top Six Reasons Women Are Hungrier Photo: WFP/Reem Nada
Women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men do and earn 23% less for paid work.Source: Top Six Reasons Women Are Hungrier Photo: WFP/Hugh Rutherford
More than half of the world's agricultural workers are women, yet they make up just 13% of land owners.Source: Top Six Reasons Women Are Hungrier Photo: WFP/Giulio d'Adamo
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: Top Six Reasons Women Are Hungrier Photo: WFP/David Orr
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, 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18.Source: Top Six Reasons Women Are Hungrier Photo: WFP/Lilu KC
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: Top Six Reasons Women Are Hungrier Photo: WFP/Giulio d'Adamo
25-year-old Aseya and her son were forced to flee their home in Myanmar because of conflict. They now live at a refugee camp in Bangladesh.Aseya's Story +
Maika is a nurse in Yemen, home to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. "Hunger doesn’t differentiate between children," she says. "There are some days when we have more children than beds, so we put three on a bed and lay the rest on mattresses on the floor."Maika's Story +
Shadia was eight years old when a bomb hit the side of her house, leaving scars on her face, back, and hands. Her family now lives in a camp in Syria.Shadia's Story +
Feeding Women Through Innovation & Empowerment
Women and girls are especially vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition. That’s why WFP runs numerous programs specifically geared toward helping them achieve equality and get the food they need to survive and thrive.
Nearly half of all small-scale farmers are women. Without access to basic resources like fertilizer and farming equipment, they miss out on nutrition and economic opportunities. WFP provides training and tools to help women become self-sufficient and participate in local markets.
When families have limited resources, they often send boys to school rather than girls. WFP school meals help keep girls in the classroom, which makes them more likely to find employment, be financially stable over their lifetimes, maintain better health, and have children at a later age.
First 1,000 Days
If babies don’t have the right nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life, it can cause irreversible damage to their mental and physical development. WFP uses highly specialized foods for infants, pregnant women and new moms to ensure they make it through this critical time.
Women are often the primary shoppers and cooks in the family. When poverty puts food out of reach, WFP delivers e-cards that allow them to purchase groceries. Funds are automatically loaded onto the cards, so women in crisis can be reached faster and more efficiently.
Empower a Woman, Feed a Generation
Breastfeeding in Emergencies
Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh is home to the world’s largest refugee camp. One million refugees live there – 80 percent are women and children. The camp is plagued by poor water, unsanitary conditions, and limited access to health services and food. We spoke with Tracy Dube, a WFP nutritionist in the camp, about the challenges that pregnant mothers, new moms and young children face in this pop-up city.