VIII Role of women and children
26. The meeting gave particular attention to children as consumers of street foods, while it also recognized that they may equally be involved in their preparation and vending. The subject of children as consumers of street foods deserves very special attention and calls for interaction among parents, school authorities and teachers on the one hand, and vendors on the other. Active involvement of parents associations and the public health and other authorities was considered essential. As street food vendors often locate outside school premises, and in many cases even operate within the school premises, the school authorities are in a strong position to influence them to serve safe and nutritious food to the children. The meeting considered that action by the authorities could include priority training of school principals and teachers to enable them to monitor the quality and safety of street foods. Training of vendors and provision of improved infrastructure was equally necessary. At the same time, the education of the children, both at home and in the school, on food safety in general and in the quality and safety of street foods in particular, was essential.
27. The meeting recognized that street foods offer an indisputable opportunity of employment for women. It is not by chance that the majority of street food vendors around the world are women. Women are involved in food preparation for the family at home and therefore establishing a small street food vending business comes naturally to them. Street food vending gives a measure of economic independence to women which has many significant positive social implications. The meeting therefore recommended that the important role of women in street foods be fully recognized and appreciated when dealing with the sector.