Understanding the role of women in combating hunger

Women in the sub- Saharan Africa still suffer from a number of problems and today’s food crisis does not spare them either.

Women in the sub- Saharan Africa still suffer from a number of problems and today’s food crisis does not spare them either.

Ironically, they are expected to play a big role in finding solutions to the problem (food crisis) unlike their male counterparts. This so, more particularly, in the rural Africa, where women are still abused as home slaves.

In this period when the world is faced with an exceptional rise of food prices, many developing countries are in a calamity that will at the end come back to the women’s shoulders. They are in most cases in charge of the home management in Rwanda and the entire sub-Saharan Africa.

Food crisis might pull back most of the women from their current stage of development, as they struggle to harmonize the situation and the well being of their families.

The effects of the crisis are wide but the most considered ones include lack of enough food to eat, which makes many women miserable especially when they see their children and family members starve.

Another threat is that families depend on agriculture for survival. And agricultural activities are mostly in women’s hands. They also have to sell food so as to meet medical bill for a family members. School fees also depend on the choice made, between food and education. This interrelationship exacerbates a woman’s burden.

Women are thus hit stiff for they are the in charges of total care of their families. Rwandan women are not immune either.

Promoting agriculture is like an indirect way of empowering women especially those in villages since women make up over 65 percent of farmers in the country.

The Minister of Natural Resource, Stanislas Kamanzi says women can be good promoters of the surrounding. He cites examples of some influential economic sectors in which women have a major role; such as agriculture, energy and water.

"Due to their role, women are responsible for productive activities the home, procuring materials for daily consumption and attending to most of the domestic chores," Kamanzi explains.

He says that women have a bigger role in natural promotion than their male partners, particularly in rural ecosystems, because of their resource-based socio-economic activities.

Kamanzi adds that women who deal most with the environment are affected by climate change.

Aurélien Agbénonci, the UN Resident Coordinator, says gender equality, environment and sustainable development have for a long time been recognised, yet they are still under-explored.

"What is more interesting is the equally strong commitment the country demonstrates with regard to gender equality and women empowerment," Agbénonci acknowledges.

He referred to the fact that no other country in the world holds the same record on women’s representation in decision making positions within government as Rwanda.

He says that taking the issues of gender and surroundings seriously, there is a sound basis for ensuring a unified and coherent approach that touches at the heart of inequality and vulnerability in Africa, Agbénonci says.

He ended by saying that there was need to apply the unified perspective, and understand on how the funds can reach out further down to the lowest level of development actors, where gender inequality and environmental degradation tend to have the most serious impact.

ith proper handling of the environment and women empowerment, food crisis will be a historical incidence. Ignoring one and promoting the other is like treating a disease without discovering the cause of the disease.

In most cases, issues facing the community have great impact on women and are heavily struck by the food crisis at the moment. Thank God for they are at all times ready to hit back. They are set to support, to help the community from the bothering situation.

There is a lot needed to empower women to achieve what is required as far as combating famine and hunger are concerned. Women play a big role in ending food crisis.

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