The president of the International Center for Research on Women has suggested a new way to end world hunger: end violence against women.
According to Sarah Degnan Kambou, women are essential to “alleviating hunger and malnutrition because they are primarily responsible for ensuring that nourishing food is available for their families.” Women who live free from violence have a “better chance of earning an income” and can therefore ensure that they and their children have enough to eat.
Currently, “as many as 7 out of 10 women worldwide…will experience some form of violence in their lifetime.” This important statistic shows both how widespread violence against women is and how extensive its negative consequences can be. Kambou also notes that violence also leaves many women with emotional and physical damage that in turn leaves them unable to earn a living or care for their families.
The issue of gendered violence is certainly not a pleasant one, but it must be addressed. Fortunately, public discussion of gender, violence, and related issues has shown positive results. A school-based program in Mumbai, India called Gender Equity Movement in Schools has reportedly resulted in “a marked shift in boys’ attitudes toward girls.”
If encouraged, programs like Gender Equity Movement in Schools could go a long way toward reducing violence against women. Not only will women be better off, but everyone will be better off. Women who live free from violence will be able to focus more on earning an income and providing food for their families, potentially leading to a reduction in hunger throughout the world.