International: Correlation Between Women's Economic Activity & Food Security
FEEDING people isn't easy. Asia saw food riots in 2008 and 2011 when rice prices spiked, and left many in hunger. Globally food prices grew three times as fast as inflation over the past decade.
A new index on food security released this week by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), commissioned by DuPont, a large chemicals and materials firm, uncovers a few fascinating findings. The most interesting is a strong correlation between women's economic opportunity and access to affordable, safe food. The Global Food Security Index shows a hefty 0.93 correlation with the EIU's Women’s Economic Opportunity Index, which measures female economic participation (scattergraph below).
As the report states: "The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that if women had access to the same productive resources as men—better seeds, fertilisers and fungicides—they could increase their yield by 20% to 30%. As women make up 43% of the world’s farmers, this would increase total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5% to 4%, and reduce hunger globally by 12% to 17%, according to the FAO."
Interestingly, the correlation between food security and EIU's Democracy Index was only 0.77, a much weaker link than with women's labour equality. This suggest that what happens in the political sphere is a bit less important than what happens on the social sphere, in terms of food.
The EIU's index ranks 105 countries with a model that analyzes 25 individual indicators in the areas of affordability, availability and quality and safety. (An interactive website is here; the underlying data is here.)
Among the other interesting findings are that landlocked countries show only a modest increase in food insecurity, on average seven points lower on a scale to 100. Also, the country that had the least annual volatility of farm output over the past 20 years was China (explained by generous subsidies that create a floor for food commodity prices), while the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria had some of the most variance.
The good news is that several of the countries at the very bottom of the index, notably Mozambique, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Nigeria, are also ones with strong economic growth, suggesting that their food situation may improve as living standards rise and as sound policies are hopefully put in place
- On May 28, International Day of Action for Women’s Health, Women’s Rights Defenders Mobilize Worldwide Calling for the Inclusion of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
- STATEMENT FROM ORGANIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS IN SOLIDARITY WITH FEMALE EGYPTIAN ACTIVISTS
- Universality Of Human Rights At Stake! Act Now To Oppose Russian Resolution On Traditional Values!
- Rights Must Be At the Center of the Family Planning Summit: Civil Society Declaration
- VNC Statement: The Vatican's Crackdown Against the Nuns Is Unacceptable and Deplorable
- WLUML Gazette, 14th Edition at the end of 2014
- WLUML Annual Report 2013
- Influences of Religious Fundamentalism on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women
- Unspeakable Crimes Against Children: Sexual Violence in Conflict
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMBINED WITH OTHER MEDIA CAN BE EFFECTIVE FOR CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT & PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNANCE ISSUES - WOMEN