Leaving no one behind - A Regional Outlook on Gender and Agrifood Systems
In Africa, women are critical agents of change in the fight against rural poverty, hunger and malnutrition. They are the backbone of their households, communities, and rural economies covering important roles in food production, processing and marketing, and also in the nutrition of the family. However, with food systems rapidly modernizing and dramatic effects of climate change and environmental degradation becoming the “new normal”, they continue to face multiple challenges due to persisting gender discriminations. Over the years, remarkable political commitments to improve women’s condition and status have been made, but substantial gender gaps still remain in the access and control over productive resources and assets, services and markets. Overcoming these challenges will require addressing the root causes of gender inequalities through innovative and gender-transformative approaches.According to FAO’s latest estimates (SOFI, 2019), the number of people suffering from hunger has been rising. Just this trend - and the awareness that we lost a decade of progress - is sufficient to underscore the immense challenge of achieving the Zero Hunger target by 2030. The situation is most alarming in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of undernourished people has steadily increased since 2014, to 237 million in 2018.These findings are in line with the 2019 SDG report. It shows that we are still lagging behind in achieving the SDGs as the global response has not been ambitious enough.