The issue is a top Administration priority. Secretary of State Clinton, who chairs MCC’s Board of Directors, states the problem succinctly: ”“Food insecurity and high food prices pose a threat to the prosperity and security in many developing countries.”” President Obama lays out the way forward, ”“America will support new and meaningful investments in food security that can help the poorest weather the difficult days that will come.”” And, last week, MCC welcomed Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer to our headquarters to participate in a timely discussion on food security and its connection to the role of gender in development. Ambassador Verveer’s keynote reaffirmed fundamental realities: ”“Gender equality…constitutes both smart development and smart economics…We delude ourselves if we think…we can foster agriculture production, income generation, and better nutrition without empowering women…unless we take gender differences into consideration in our policy responses, we will not successfully address the food crisis in the short term nor create sustainable food security for the longer term.””
MCC agrees, and joined like-minded colleagues, including Ambassador Verveer, for an insightful conversation on the importance of gender integration in food security. Presentations from Women Thrive Worldwide-who partnered with us to make the event possible-and the International Food Policy Research Institute provided a rich framework to better understand the vital role gender plays in long-term economic development and sustainable food security. A country’s sustainable growth is inextricably tied to providing all its citizens-men and women alike-with the tools they need to contribute to the productive lives of their households and communities. Integrating gender into U.S. development assistance makes full use of every human being’s potential to create opportunities for themselves and their families. Be sure to read the transcript.
MCC’s event on the nexus between food security and gender is the first in a series that we are planning to keep the spotlight shining on this global development priority. Check back for details on upcoming events related to food security, to be posted soon to our website.