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Women and development: The world's poorest are women and girls

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Women make up 70% of people living in poverty in rural areas. Although they play a key role for sustainable development and fighting hunger.

Gender equality is a recognised human right. However, millions of women are still disadvantaged and suffer discrimination and poverty. They are often being under-estimated or even suppressed. Welthungerhilfe gives women strength and supports them in demanding their rights themselves. Goals can only be reached together – both men and women benefit from Welthungerhilfe's work.

In developing countries, women produce up to 80% of the food, however they own less than one fifth of the cultivation areas.

The yields from the fields can be increased in such countries by 20-30% according to the FAO, if women were granted the same access to land ownership, loans, markets and education as the men.

30 million women are fleeing from war, hunger, sexual violence, forced marriage and discrimination, many of them leaving their home regions together with their children. On their journey to seek refuge, many become victims of assaults by men. Further facts and figures can be found in this infographic.

How do we promote gender equality?

Welthungerhilfe wants to strengthen women and make gender equality reality. Along with our partners, we have been a supporter of Gender Mainstreaming in our programme work for many years. That means...

  • Gender issues are an integral part of the thinking, decision-making and action-taking of all concerned.

  • Besides projects that explicitly support women and girls, gender equality plays a role in all the projects.

  • Project phases, project participation and methods are explored from a gender-specific perspective, so as to gain a comprehensive understanding of role distribution and potential.

Examples from our project regions

Welthungerhilfe advocates gender equality and the women's empowerment in various projects. For example:

  • In Kashmir, women are supported with loans and special courses, enabling them to set up small businesses.

  • In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we are working together with the local partner organisation “Femmes Engagées pour la Promotion de la Santé Intégrale (FEPSI), which provides traumatised women with medical care and supports their social and economic reintegration.

  • In Peru, together with our partner organisation Puririsun, we educate women about their health-related rights and possibilities.