Gender, Nutrition, and the Human Right to Adequate Food: Toward an Inclusive Framework
The food crisis of 2008 was not an isolated incident or unique event from which the world economy and food security has re-stabilized. Rather, as Valente and Suárez Franco (2010, 455) state, "[the 2008 food crisis] is not new for more than 840 million people who have constantly been subjected to hunger over the last thirty years, millions of whom died of malnutrition and associated diseases, or had their quality of life severely affected by the consequences of malnutrition." Although estimates of food insecurity differ, the geography and socio-demographic profile of the food insecure remains unaltered (FAO, WFP, IFAD 2012; HRC 2011, para. 6). Among the most food insecure population groups are food producing peasants, including small-scale and family farm holders, landless farmers surviving as tenants or agricultural workers, hunters and gatherers, pastoralists and fisherfolk, more particularly those living in higher risk environments and remote areas, as well as non-farm rural households, and the urban poor (HRC 2014, para.44; Scherr 2003, 15). Within these, women and girls face violations of their right to adequate food and nutrition at a 60:40 ratio relative to men and boys (UN ECOSOC 2007) and comprise 70 percent of the poor (HRC 2012; World Bank, FAO, IFAD 2009). Obviously, not all women everywhere are hungry and gender does not connote the "last" or "worst" basis for discrimination but is further complicated by differences of age, social status, sexuality, and dis/ability, among others. Nevertheless, available data reveal that the structural power inequalities reflected in food and nutrition insecurity according to different status of livelihood, rural-urban location, nation, ethnicity, race, and class are consistently compounded by and manifested within gender discrimination.