The global food price crisis of 2007–08 underscored how fragile livelihoods are among the world’s extremely vulnerable people, as it drove 44 million people in developing countries into poverty. In the aftermath of the crisis, in 2009 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that almost one billion people worldwide were undernourished. As this briefing paper shows, the crisis disproportionately affected women because they face discrimination at both the societal level and within their own households, with profound effects on their right to food.
Women are vulnerable on all dimensions of food security: availability, access, utilization and stability. They suffer the most from macro- and micronutrient deficiencies, especially during reproductive years, with long-term negative development impacts for society as a whole.
Food-price spikes have negative repercussions for female household heads. They suffer labour market discrimination, which confines them to informal and casual employment, as well as pay inequity. Also, they frequently spend a bigger share of their family budget on food than male heads of household.
Although the global response launched numerous new initiatives and instruments, funding has been insufficient and policies have failed to address the global food system’s structural deficiencies, instead offering ‘business as usual.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.