Why Women Hold the Keys to Overcoming the World Food Crisis

When we talk about Nurturing a sustainable future, the theme for Women’s Forum Italy 2015, there are two very good reasons to talk about it with women in mind. Women and girls make up half the world’s population, and they are typically on the frontline not only when it comes to feeding their families but also when it comes to feeding the world. Women living in rural areas produce half of the world’s food and, in developing countries, they are responsible for between 60 percent and 80 percent of food crops.

So first of all, if we are to overcome hunger and malnutrition,we must end practices that deny women their basic human rights, and we must pull down the barriers that prevent women from realizing their full potential in agriculture as in all other sectors. Secondly, we must rely on the intelligence and insight of women as we seek sustainable solutions to the world food crisis.

As we chart humanity’s course into a sustainable future, we must not only make sure women are on board; we must give them an equal chance to steer the ship.
In our discussions at Women’s Forum Italy, we focused not only on the problems – hunger, obesity, water shortages, food waste, climate change, food insecurity… – but on workable solutions where women can make and are making all the difference. We saw how women’s knowledge and concerted efforts are enhancing resource productivity, aiding in the conservation of ecosystems, and improving nutrition for men, women and children in all geographies and at all income levels. We heard from trailblazers such as Ertharin Cousin,Vandana Shiva and Emma Bonino, and from leading business figures such as Guido Barilla, Fiona Dawson, Ann M. Veneman and Alessandro Marchionne.
We were delighted to have this Women’s Forum meeting in Italy, where the “slow food” movement began and where Expo Milano 2015 has brought nutrition and sustainability to the heart of the debate. We were proud to be associated with Valore D and WE-Women for Expo, two successful networks helping women in Italy connect with each other and with other women around the world. And we are grateful for the support of our corporate partners.
We are now looking forward being in Deauville to offer you a successful Edition of our upcoming Women’s Forum Global Meeting!
Jacqueline Franjou
Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society