Women, street food could answer world’s hunger problems

Aug 18 2021

Empowering women as street food vendors and agricultural workers could be the key to beating malnutrition, writes Inga Vesper.

As you take an evening walk through Ghana’s capital, Accra, you may notice something unusual — almost every street food vendor is a woman. And those with a trained eye will notice something else: opportunity.

Women experience some of the highest rates of malnutrition worldwide. But, say advocates, they also hold the key to solving the world’s food-related health problems by tapping into traditional social structures.

The UN estimates that ten per cent more women than men have become food-insecure since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Máximo Torero Cullen, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) chief economist, told SciDev.Net that women were at greater risk of income loss due to their higher rates of informal employment and stronger role in caregiving.

“During emergencies, conflict and other times of crises, negative coping strategies are more likely to be adopted, one of them being that women will eat last and least,” he says. “Men are prioritised over women when food is scarce, when in fact the nutritional needs are higher for women and adolescent girls.”

Source: Science Dev