Women and Food Security in South Asia: Current Issues and Emerging Concerns

FOOD INSECURITY, VULNERABILITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS FAILURE, STUDIES IN DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS AND POLICY, B. Guha-Khasnobis, S.S. Acharya, B. Davis, eds., Palgrave Macmillan, UNU-WIDER, Great Britain, 2007

22 Pages Posted: 6 May 2011

See all articles by Nira Ramachandran

Nira Ramachandran

Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India

Date Written: May 30, 2007

Abstract

Improvements in food security have taken place in all the South Asian countries over the last few decades, yet nutrition outcomes, especially those related to women and children, have failed to keep pace. This paper contends that the role of women in providing food and nutrition security at the household and individual level needs to be examined, if the paradox of persisting malnutrition amid macro level food sufficiency is to be resolved. Food security, in its broader connotation, results from the availability of adequate food, effective consumption, and desirable nutrition outcomes. As such, it is intricately linked with a woman’s multiple roles expressed in her productive, reproductive, and caring functions. However, even focussed efforts aimed at resolving the problems faced by women in performing one or other of their roles, may fail to produce expected results, if the issues underlying each function and their inter-linkages are not fully understood. The paper thus attempts to review various aspects of the relationship between women and food security in South Asia, highlight the issues that require urgent focus and indicate emerging concerns in the region.

Keywords: food security, gender bias, women, farmers, female workforce, feminization of poverty, wage differentials, malnutrition, empowerment

JEL Classification: Q18, J16, J43

Suggested Citation

Ramachandran, Nira, Women and Food Security in South Asia: Current Issues and Emerging Concerns (May 30, 2007). FOOD INSECURITY, VULNERABILITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS FAILURE, STUDIES IN DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS AND POLICY, B. Guha-Khasnobis, S.S. Acharya, B. Davis, eds., Palgrave Macmillan, UNU-WIDER, Great Britain, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1832042

Nira Ramachandran (Contact Author)

Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India ( email )

Delhi, 110007
India

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