Women &
Hunger
Image depicting Women & Hunger
Photo: WFP
Photo: WFP
Women Are Hungrier

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.

150M

The number of people female farmers could feed if they had equal access to tools and resources

1/3

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

90%

The portion of income women reinvest back into their families when they're able to work

Hungry for Change

Food Security

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

Fair Pay

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

Equal Rights

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

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: View Infographic Photo: WFP/Hussam Al Saleh

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, 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18.

Source: View Infographic Photo: WFP/Lilu KC
Square photograph of Aseya Detailed photograph of Aseya
Photo: WFP/Saikat Mojumder

Aseya

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 +
Detailed photograph of Maika
Photo: WFP

Maika

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 +
Detailed photograph of Shadia
Photo: WFP/Partner

Shadia

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 +

Women: Stories of Hunger and Hope

Photo: WFP/Badre Bahaji Around the World in 1,000 Days

Good nutrition from conception to a child’s second birthday ensures a healthy start in life. Mothers — and fathers — across the globe share their experiences.

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A Message From the Princess of Jordan: “We must not fail them”

"While one segment of society is dreaming of life on Mars, over 113 million others are facing acute hunger and dreaming of food...Good nutrition is the bed-rock of sustainable development, peace and security."

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Photo: WFP/Tara Crossley Kitchens in Crisis: How Mothers Prepare Meals in Times of Extreme Conflict

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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Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf How ‘Rural Revitalization’ Could End Hunger

We need “a systemwide transformation” in the way we live, work, govern and grow our food. It's no small task.

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Photo: WFP/Khalilullah Kakar Flying Towards Gender Equality

In Afghanistan, the UN Humanitarian Air Service is launching a new initiative to get more female Afghan humanitarians into the skies and the field.

Read more +
Photo: WFP/Saikat Mojumder Women Are Hungrier. For Food. For Change. For Equality. Meet 11 of Them.

Despite enormous obstacles, women are growing crops, delivering medical care, becoming teachers and providing for their families. These are their stories.

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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.

See all podcasts

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.

Photo: WFP/Angeli Mendoza
Female Farmers

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.

Photo: WFP/Ratanak Leng
School Meals

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.

Photo: WFP/Deborah Nguyen
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.

E-Cards

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.

Take Action

Sign the ZeroHunger Pledge

Women in crisis need your help. Your signature is powerful than you know. Sign our pledge today.

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Interact With Our Infographic

Of the 821 million hungry people in the world, 60% are women and girls. Help spread the word.

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Take the Hunger Quiz

How much do you know about hunger? Take these five questions and find out. The answers may surprise you!

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Empower a Woman, Feed a Generation