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Food Security and Gender Equality: CARE

  • 06 Aug 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Food Security, Gender Quality, Covid-19

For Mains: Link between Gender Inequality and Food Insecurity

Why in News?

Recently, a report was released named “Food Security and Gender Equality: A synergistic understudied symphony”, which highlighted a global link between Gender Inequality and Food Insecurity.

  • The Report was released by CARE, which is an international humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty and world hunger by working alongside women and girls.

What are the Findings of the Report?

  • Growing Gender Gap in Food Security:
    • The gap between men and women’s food security is growing worldwide.
      • As many as 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021. Among them, 150 million more women were food insecure than men.
    • Across 109 countries, as gender inequality goes up, food security goes down.
      • Between 2018 and 2021, the number of hungry women versus hungry men grew 8.4 times, with a staggering 150 million more women than men hungry in 2021.
  • Gender Inequality and Malnourishment:
    • Gender equality is highly connected to food and nutrition security at a local, national, and global level.
    • The more gender inequality in a country, the hungrier and more malnourished people are.
    • Nations with high gender inequality, such as Yemen, Sierra Leone and Chad, experienced the lowest food security and nutrition.
  • Women Bear Bigger Burdens:
    • Even when both men and women are technically food insecure, women often bear bigger burdens, in this situation men are found eating smaller meals and women are found skipping meals.
      • In Lebanon, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, 85% of people reduced the number of meals they ate. At the time, 85% of women were eating smaller portions, compared to only 57 % of men.
  • Women Employed Experienced less Food Insecurity:
    • When women are employed and earning money or when they are directly involved in farming, they are less likely to experience food insecurity.
  • Women more Likely to Live in Poverty:
    • Women are more likely than men to live in extreme poverty, because their work is underpaid or not paid at all.
    • Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, women took on three times as much unpaid work as men.

What are the Recommendations?

  • As women keep feeding the world, they must be given the right space in the data collection methods and analysis to make the gaps they encounter visible and work with women themselves to find solutions to those gaps.
  • It is time to update global understanding of food security and gender inequality, and local actors, including women’s organisations in crisis-affected communities, need to get the flexible funding and support desperately needed to protect women and girls from hunger-associated gender-based-violence and protection risks.
  • All the SDGs depend on the achievement of Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate the many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women’s rights in private and public spheres.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. An objective of the National Food Security Mission is to increase the production of certain crops through area expansion and productivity enhancement in a sustainable manner in the identified districts of the country. What are those crops? (2010)

(a) Rice and wheat only
(b) Rice, wheat and pulses only
(c) Rice, wheat, pulses and oil seeds only
(d) Rice, wheat, pulses, oil seeds and vegetables

Ans: (b)


  • The National Development Council (NDC) in 2007 adopted a resolution to launch a Food Security Mission comprising rice, wheat and pulses to increase the annual production of rice by 10 million tonnes, wheat by 8 million tonnes and pulses by 2 million tonnes by the end of the Eleventh Plan (2011‑12).
  • Accordingly, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, ‘National Food Security Mission‘ (NFSM), was launched in October 2007.
  • The Mission continued during the 12th Five Year Plan with new targets of additional production of food grains of 25 million tonnes, which in addition to rice, wheat and pulses comprises 3 million tonnes of coarse cereals by the end of 12th Five Year Plan.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Q. Which of the following gives ‘Global Gender Gap Index’ ranking to the countries of the world? (2017)

(a) World Economic Forum
(b) UN Human Rights Council
(c) UN Women
(d) World Health Organization

Ans: (a)


  • The Global Gender Gap Report is published by the World Economic Forum. The report’s Gender Gap Index, which is designed to measure gender equality ranks countries, according to the calculated gender gap between women and men in four key areas: health, education, economy and politics to gauge the state of gender equality in a country.
  • The Global Gender Gap Report 2021 benchmarks 156 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year’s edition studied skills gender gaps related to Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • India ranks 140th in WEF Gender Gap Index-2021.
  • Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.


Q. What are the salient features of the National Food Security Act, 2013? How has the Food Security Bill helped in eliminating hunger and malnutrition in India? (2021)

Source: DTE

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