Saturday, 23 January 2021

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Towards zero hunger by tackling gender-based violence

GATES FOUNDATION / Increasing the productivity and empowerment of women farmers reduces global poverty / Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

26 November 2014 – Acts of violence against women aged 15 – 44 are the cause of more death and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. But ending violence against women is more than a right for the millions affected worldwide; it is a crucial step towards ending world hunger.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a startling 1,100 rapes are reported every month, with an average of 36 women and girls raped every single day. Panzi hospital in Bukavu offers a safe haven for survivors of sexual violence providing women with medical care, psychological counselling and life skills workshops.

The World Food Programme (WFP) provides food assistance to the hospital, contributing to a healthy recovery for the women – and ensuring that they have no reason to venture out into unsafe environments.

Additionally, WFP runs a programme, which produces and distributes briquettes as an alternative cooking fuel, sparing women the dangerous trek – where this basic daily task can be a threat to lives.

“If we go into the bush to collect firewood, we risk getting robbed or raped – all sorts of things,” Maria Nabinto, a refugee in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), told WFP earlier this year.

Teaching women best agricultural practices

In Nicaragua, it is a different type of violence that threatens most women: domestic violence affects nearly half of all married women in the country. This is one of the reasons why WFP is working to promote gender equality through food programmes.

The organisation is teaching women best agricultural practices and supporting gender awareness events to address underlying inequalities and empower women farmers socially and economically.

A particularly crucial activity given that in developing countries, women are responsible for 60 to 80 per cent of food production in developing countries. In fact, if women had the same access to resources as men, they could increase agricultural yields by 20 to 30 per cent, lifting 100 – 150 million people out of poverty.

Learn more, speak out, and join the 16-day UNiTE campaign to eradicate gender-based violence.

Source: World Food Programme

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