Food security and hunger eradication are among the top priorities on the international agenda today in view of the impact on agricultural productivity of global economic crises, food price spikes, and climate change. The extent to which gender inequalities in general, and the gender gaps in agriculture in particular, thwart attainment of these twin priority goals is a key concern given the vital role of women smallholders in household and community food and nutrition 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).