2020 Focus 6: Empowering women to achieve food security

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Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)


This overview summarizes the key strategies the authors use to empower women and to achieve food security. This is done through strengthening the asset base: 1- Natural and physical capital, women are often responsible for ensuring its usage, but rarely carry the rights that provide them security. 2- Human capital, health and education can improve women's lives and ultimately reduce poverty. 3- Social and financial capital, networks constitute a valuable asset for women, but often the very poor (forced migration and greater vulnerability) have reduced social capital. Group savings and credit should provide broader safety nets to reduce women's vulnerabilities. 4- Legal rights, institutional frameworks must provide women with legitimate access and control over the resources. The recommendations for action are; a) change laws to decrease women's vulnerability, b) implement creative programs that allow women to capitalize on their social capital in ways that help compensate for lack of financial and physical assets, c) increase women's opportunities for participation in development processes.


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Women, Food security, Social capital, Gender, Vulnerability and risk, Natural capital, Physical capital, Women's rights, Human capital, Networks, Legal rights, Participation