MDG 3: Achieve gender equality
Intervening for Gender Equality
Early on, The Hunger Project recognized that women are the key to ending hunger. Women bear almost all responsibility for meeting basic needs of the family, yet are systematically denied the resources, information and freedom of action they need to fulfill this responsibility. In 1997, a UNICEF study triggered the recognition that gender was not only a major factor in hunger — it was a primary root cause. The UNICEF paper demonstrated that the only reason child malnutrition rates in South Asia were twice as high as those in sub-Saharan Africa is that women in South Asia were much more subjugated. Far stronger interventions for gender equality were needed.
- In all program countries, The Hunger Project rewrote its Vision, Commitment and Action Workshops to emphasize the importance of empowering women.
- In Ghana, a special women’s training entitled Women's Empowerment Program was created to fit the schedules and needs of local women.
- Every African epicenter committee is required to have equal representation of women and men.
- About 45,000 women and men are active participants in The Hunger Project's Microfinance Program in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda. Women receive close to 75 percent of all loan funds.
- More than 1.1 million people have taken the HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Workshop, in which they not only learn the facts of AIDS, but also confront and transform the gender-based behaviors that fuel the pandemic.
- In India, our Women’s Leadership Workshop has empowered about 80,000 women elected to local councils to be effective change agents for ending hunger — where before many didn’t even bother to attend council meetings. They are forming district- and state-wide federations to ensure that their voices are heard at top levels of government.