Women's Roles In Food Security

938 Words 4 Pages
In contemporary society, the food system can best be described as abundant. At present, more food is being produced than ever before yet an estimated 854 million people globally are undernourished. Linked to this is the notion of food security which seeks to ensure that all people have access, at all times, to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. It not only requires adequate supply but entails availability, access and utilisation. Accordingly this essay will show that women’s’ roles in the food production chain, from farm to plate, is often overlooked and that these gender-based inequalities need be addressed in order to attain the goals food security, wishes to achieve.
Food security is founded on four fundamental principles: food availability, food access and food utilisation and food stability. Traditionally there have been two varying approaches as a means to address food security. While one focuses on the attainment of social justice and human rights, the other which is based on the ‘Washington Consensus” emphasises trade liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation. While both approaches are of merit, they
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This clearly demonstrates that availability does not equate to food security. Rather, as has been found in poorer households headed by women which have often succeeded in providing more nutritional food than those headed by men. The role of women in food preparation, demonstrates the importance of gender-based knowledge as men may not be able to translate availability into nutritional security. Ensuring food security means that women’s multiple roles within the household and society need to be acknowledged in the food production

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