“More than half the children who are not in school today, 36 million, are girls.” Such a reality is not only unacceptable, but incomprehensible. Not only is educational opportunity for girls a humanitarian imperative, it will also help to significantly mitigate poverty and hunger in developing countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), when given equal access to resources and education, women can help bring down the number of hungry people by 16 percent worldwide. Agricultural productivity and household nutrition increase when women are empowered as key change agents and “it has been shown that women with the same levels of education, information, experience and farm resources as men increased their farming yields by 22 percent” (see full article here).
Clearly, a key element in realizing the alleviation of poverty is in affording girls education which will enable them to demand access to opportunities such as credit and to the ability to gain market income. Such opportunities will in turn help them establish food security for themselves and their families. Again, such a change in attitude and practice will not only improve the lives of millions of women worldwide, but will, at a more collective level, provide a very tangible solution to world poverty and hunger.
We at The Hunger Project have long recognized the necessity and opportunity that is equality for women: by targeting women as key change agents through training and advocacy and empowering girl children, we seek to ensure that women can fulfill their potential in changing their own lives as well as society at large.
Content submitted by THP-intern Heidi Chan