Joan Holmes, Testimony before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus

May 21, 2003

On 21 May 2003, Joan Holmes presented testimony to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on the inextricable link between women and ending world hunger. She recommended that the Caucus recognize that “The greatest violation of human rights in our world is the subjugation of women, and the persistence of world hunger is its greatest consequence.”

Despite the fact that the invitation to the session explicitly stated that “food quantity is not the underlying problem compounding the hunger crisis” the bulk of testimony focused on conventional food aid approaches to dealing with famines. Joan was the only woman among the six experts invited to speak, and the only speaker who distinguished famine and chronic, persistent hunger.

Joan drove home the three ways that gender inequality is fundamentally linked to hunger: the link between women’s well-being and the well-being of all society, women as the primary food producers and women as leaders and key change agents for the end of hunger.

For all of us committed to the end of hunger, Joan’s concise, powerful communication will be an important tool to awaken people to the fundamental cause of most of the world’s remaining hunger.

Click here to read the full testimony (French)

Click here to watch the testimony using Real Player over a high-speed connection. Length: 16m 47s. After you watch Joan - click here to watch the "Cycle of Malnutrition"

Click here to listen to the testimony in RealAudio format over low-speed links.

Click here to learn about the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. The CHRC has also published Joan's testimony at this link.

Click here to learn about the GAINS Legislation that Joan references in her recommendations.

Click here to learn about the Millennium Challenge Account that Joan references.

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