Gender and Nutrition: FAO draft issue paper

Gender and Nutrition: FAO draft issue paper

This draft issue paper was prepared by FAO in October 2012 as a working document before submission to and discussion within the UNSCN with a view to developing consensual briefs for non-specialists on crosscutting issues impacting food and nutrition security. The paper seeks to discuss the main links between gender and nutrition, highlighting opportunities for increased synergy, and provide recommendations for improved policies, programming and projects. The paper begins with an overview of the context for gender and nutrition, arguing that agriculture, nutrition, health and gender are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. It then goes on to outline the main opportunities for synergies between gender and nutrition, covering: targeting women in nutrition interventions; nutrition and the life cycle; local food culture and gender; gender and nutrition in agriculture extension; income generating activities and spending income on nutrition; obesity, gender and nutrition; and rights based perspectives related to gender and nutrition;

The paper makes a number of recommendations for policy makers:
• Build on the local context, adapting gender policies as needed
• Promote gender-sensitive elements in integrated/multi-sectoral nutrition policies, programmes and actions
• Support equal rights and access to employment, land and other resources/services
• Advocate for equal representation of women and men in decision-making positions e.g. designing and developing laws, policies and programmes

As well as for specialists and practitioners:
• Incorporate a gender analysis as part of the regular, nutrition situation analysis, analysing the needs, priorities and roles of men and women
• Incorporate gender considerations at all levels, framing such efforts as an opportunity to improve effectiveness and nutritional impact
• Promote nuanced targeting strategies in nutrition policies, programming and project activities, recognising that there is more to gender than just gender parity or targeting women
• Include the promotion of balanced distribution of household tasks between men and women in nutrition programmes and actions
• Address gender considerations for each activity, at every stage of an intervention
• Establish and operationalise specific mechanisms to ensure increased farmers’ income from agricultural production leads to better nutrition

Annex 1 provides a short institutional overview of the members of the international nutrition community who have developed and are implementing policies, strategies and action plans with a focus on gender and nutrition. Comments from stakeholders on the working document are invited and should be submitted to: or

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