WFP chief highlights role of women in ensuring food securityListen /
Empowering women is a critical element in combating hunger and malnutrition, according to Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP).
The WFP chief was speaking in Rome at a ceremony marking World Food Day, observed this Wednesday, 16 October, under the theme of sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.
She said any action to strengthen and reform food systems must also recognize the critical role played by women.
"Women must play and do play almost every role in our food systems: as producers in small farms, as rural caregivers, as food sellers. Yet we know that women are those who are most denied access to resources, most denied access to expertise, and too often denied access to adequate education. Empowering women is a must if we are to build sustainable, healthy food systems and seriously tackle the problems of food insecurity and undernutrition." (35″)
Ms. Cousin reported that last year, WFP assisted nearly 100 million people who were affected by crises, shocks and failures of local food systems in more than 80 countries.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.