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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Food conference needs to lead to action

Food conference needs to lead to action

October 25, 2011

At last week’s meeting of the UN Committee on World Food Security, ccountries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe recognized that giving women support and equal rights to land is central to achieving global food security.

That recognition must now be followed by action.

“We now hope to see governments walk the talk, by taking affirmative action to advance women’s right to food and level the playing field for women smallholder farmers,” said Lauren Ravon, Oxfam Canada’s gender policy advisor. Investing in women food producers could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5 to 4 percent, feeding up to 150 million additional people.

All governments acknowledged that smallholder farmers are crucial in tackling hunger, need support and must have their say in all the decisions about food and agriculture.

“We still don’t know how this will be turned into reality. Over the years we have heard many unfulfilled promises. Now is the time to provide a clear road map to assist the most vulnerable people in the world,” said Ziaul Hoque Mukta, Oxfam policy advisor.

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