Women’s critical role as food producers, consumers and family carers (Eldis)

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Innovative approaches to gender and food security: insights, issue 82

Food security and gender insights

Authors: S. Turrall (ed)
Publisher: Knowledge Services, IDS, 2012

This issue of insights shows how development policy and practice can potentially improve food security while supporting women’s  empowerment. They can focus on women’s critical role as food producers, consumers and family carers, while transforming gender norms and inequalities within households and communities. There is no one size fits all approach to achieving these outcomes, but it is vital to ensure that food security interventions:

  • are informed by both women and men at the local level in their design and implementation
  • are tailored to specific contexts, given the often vast disparities in experience, needs and gender roles within countries and regions
  • take into account and respect women’s instrumental role in food production
  • involve women and men equally in decision-making around food production consumption and distribution


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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