Access to good nutrition is a universal human right.

Nutrition International believes that good nutrition and gender equality are mutually reinforcing; improving nutrition is critical to achieving gender equality, and in turn improving gender equality leads to improved nutrition.

The evidence is compelling:

  • Girls with access to good nutrition are better able to learn. Well-nourished girls with access to education learn more and earn more over their lifetimes.
  • When women come together as trained community health care workers, as mothers, and/or community decision-makers, they and their communities benefit. They share their first-hand knowledge, collectively discuss and take action on existing nutritional barriers and engage in local health agendas.
  • Men have many roles in society, as fathers, partners, brothers, teachers, health care providers and leaders. Access to positive male role models that enable more equitable distribution of household nutrition, health decision-making, caregiving or professional health-related responsibilities promotes gender equality, women’s empowerment and nutrition in the short and long term.
  • When nutrition programming recognizes household gender power relations and ensures both partners and all family members are informed and involved, in decision-making for improved nutrition, such as supporting optimal breastfeeding practices or taking daily or weekly iron-folic acid supplements for anaemia prevention, it promotes long-term advances gender equality.

Rationale

When women and men are empowered to claim their rights, it leads to improved health and nutrition for themselves and a better quality of life for their families and communities. The participation and support of men and boys alongside women and girls in reaching gender equality is essential. However, achieving gender equality will not be possible as long as women and girls around the world remain twice as likely to suffer from malnutrition then men and boys.

Nutrition International has considered evidence in four areas while developing its Program Gender Equality Strategy:

  1. How social norms can lead to gender inequalities in nutrition.
  2. How women and girls can have increased nutritional needs during the lifecycle and may be at a greater risk of food insecurity.
  3. How empowered and educated mothers have better nourished families; and how adequate nutrition is essential to grow, learn, earn and lead.
  4. How improving nutrition for women, adolescent girls, and children lays the foundation for their current and future education, productivity and economic empowerment.

Gender Mainstreaming Priorities

NI’s implementation priorities for gender mainstreaming include:

  • Supporting deeper consideration of gender equality into all aspects of NI programs
  • Strengthening capacity to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Designing and delivering gender sensitive nutrition programming at scale
  • Delivering on gender sensitive outcomes
  • Measuring and tracking knowledge, attitudes, practices (KAP) related to gender equality
  • Tracking equitable participation in training and capacity building
  • Analysing gender as part of continuous learning
  • Filling gender data gaps
  • Encouraging equitable participation
  • Advocating for the importance of improving children’s, adolescent girls’ and women’s nutrition to advance gender equality

Please refer to NI’s Program Gender Equality Strategy for further details.

Resources

Gender Equality Strategy

Campaigns