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In nearly two-thirds of countries around the world, women are more likely than men to suffer from hunger and malnourishment. Deep-rooted gender norms, man-made conflict and a lack of equal rights trap women and girls in a cycle of disadvantage, poverty and hunger.
The number of people female farmers could feed if they had equal access to tools and resources
The proportion of women with anemia – a diet-related iron deficiency that can cause organ damage if left untreated
The portion of income women reinvest back into their families when they're able to work
Hungry for Change
Of the 821 million people who are food insecure in the world right now, 60 percent are women and girls.Source: View Infographic Photo: WFP/Eoin Casey
Women do 2.6 times more unpaid care and domestic work than men do and earn 23% less for paid work.Source: View Infographic Photo: WFP/Hugh Rutherford
More than half of the world's agricultural workers are women, yet they make up just 13% of landholders.Source: View Infographic 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: View Infographic Photo: WFP/Hussam Al Saleh
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: View Infographic Photo: WFP/Lilu KC
25-year-old Aseya and her son were forced to flee their home in Myanmar because of conflict. Now they live at a refugee camp in Bangladesh and receive food assistance from WFP.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, where WFP helps 600,000 people each month.Shadia's story +
Investing in Women-Led Businesses
If women farmers had the same access to resources and training as their male counterparts, the number of hungry people worldwide could drop by nearly 20 percent, according to the United Nations. Lisa Curtis, co-founder of Kuli Kuli Foods, shows how building a U.S. market for a “miracle crop” called moringa is empowering women farmers in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
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 enough to eat 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 which allow them to purchase groceries for themselves. Funds are automatically loaded onto the cards, so women in crisis can be reached faster and more efficiently.