How embracing equity forges a positive impact on food systems worldwide
Today, one in three people - drawn from nearly every country on the planet - are unable to consume enough nutritious food. 821 million people globally do not get enough calories to stave off chronic hunger. And two billion people do not consume enough vitamins and minerals for healthy growth. These are startling facts conveyed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).
Driven by the belief that everyone in the world should have access to nutritious, safe, and affordable food, GAIN works to develop and deliver solutions to this daily challenge.
GAIN's purpose is to improve the consumption of nutritious and safe foods for all, with a focus on children, adolescents, and women. GAIN knows that working with these groups is crucial to transforming attitudes about food and hence life chances and livelihoods.
With this focus, International Women's Day (IWD) sees GAIN share how embracing equity and inclusion can have positive impacts on food systems and global communities. For example, ensuring food security and nutrition for a growing population and how to be feeding the plenty, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people working in the food supply chain, and doing so in a sustainable green lens.
Transforming attitudes about food
A Swiss-based foundation launched at the United Nations (UN) in 2002, GAIN tackles the human suffering caused by malnutrition. Working with governments, businesses and civil society, GAIN aims to transform food systems so that they deliver more nutritious foods for all people, especially the most vulnerable.
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Effect of food system inequities on women
"Across countries and cultures, what does the motto of the IWD #EmbraceEquity mean? The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Equality means providing the same to all, whereas equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. Cases in point: Women largely work in planting the food, working in the fields, harvesting the crops, cooking the meals, or just working in desk jobs, and yet earn less and if poor and destitute, eat less than their male counterparts. And this situation can become exacerbated by sociopolitical factors such as conflict, famine, and hunger," says GAIN.
The need to move faster on driving change
"When social structures further exacerbate gender-based discrimination, political commitment becomes an essential tool in overcoming the fundamental barriers for women and girls. Many Member States have made commitments towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including ending hunger and achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls. While countries recognize and continue to strive for gender equity, we need to move faster and insist on greater accountability for such commitments. The human rights message is clearly resonating," adds GAIN.
Support team plantation workers in India
GAIN is fundraising to support tea plantation workers in Assam, India
In Assam, India tea pluckers, most of whom are women, are suffering from the current lockdown and earn only half of their salaries. Weekly markets where they source their fresh foods are closed.
During the period of this crisis, families often can’t afford even basic foods. Nutrition security for pregnant women and children in the family is already compromised - many women are anaemic and children are not growing to their full potential - they need nutritious foods to build and maintain their health. Tea families need better access to affordable healthy foods like vegetables, lentils and oil fortified with micronutrients.
You can help them! How? Through GAIN's retail channel partners in Assam being set up sustainable and regular supplies of essential and healthy foods to the tea workers, during this crisis and beyond.
Make a donation to help GAIN reach more people, because your contribution can make a big difference to lives.