ACF Report: Women Essential in the Fight Against Hunger

International Women's Day 2006: ACF report emphasizes women's role as most efficient partners in ending hunger

The international aid organization Action Against Hunger (ACF) launched its advocacy program Hunger Watch today from its UK office with a report released in conjunction with International Women's Day highlighting the importance of women in the fight against hunger.

Entitled Women and Hunger: Women's central role in the fight against hunger, the report is based on more than 25 years of ACF's program experience and reviews the difficulties and inequalities facing women throughout the world.

"Women are expected to fetch water, gather firewood, prepare the meals, care for their children, clean the house, and work in the field," said Cathy Skoula, executive director for ACF's USA office. "Yet many times programs do not take this workload into account, ignoring the impact of women on the well-being of their families when designing programs."

Noting that women play an important role in securing food for the household, the report highlights the vulnerabilities women face when food is not readily available especially in times of conflict, economic decline, or as a result of pandemics such as HIV/AIDS.

According to ACF, women are the main providers of food around the world; as such women are key partners in the struggle to end hunger. ACF's report recommends that agencies design programs in close consultation with women, ensuring that program activities are based on a gender analysis that recognizes power relations and the use and distribution of resources. Noting that humanitarian programs can as catalysts for change, ACF emphasizes that organizations can make more of a difference if gender issues are considered not as an additional factor but as a core part of their programs.

The report was produced out of ACF's UK office, and is the first of a number of reports to be published as part of the organization's Hunger Watch project. Hunger Watch was launched to provide analysis and advocacy on hunger-related issues.