Promoting women’s influence in their food systems. Women's influence within food systems outcomes in the Sustainable Diets for All programme
Despite playing multiple key roles in food systems — as producers, processors, sellers, consumers and preparers of food — women’s voices are often not heard. Women are often absent from spaces where decisions are made that impact their lives, including those relating to food systems and policy at different levels. Where they are present, they are often unable to speak up, and when they do, they are often not heard. When decisions are being made that impact women, especially those from marginalised groups, women’s representatives with substantive voice and leadership need to be included beyond just being merely present, but as equal leaders and decision makers.
This paper presents a collection of cases where, with support from the Sustainable Diets for All (SD4All) programme, women demonstrated enhanced advocacy capacity. SD4All partners worked with them to develop and harness their individual and collective capacities, and channel them towards the change they wanted to see. As activists, educators, advocates, knowledge-bearers, decision makers, researchers and leaders, women were themselves influencing other food system actors, including powerholders and duty-bearers.
The paper also highlights key lessons emerging on what worked well in supporting women’s advocacy capacity, that can be used to inform future work.
Zengeni, T. (2021). Promoting women’s influence in their food systems. Women's influence within food systems outcomes in the Sustainable Diets for All programme. IIED, Hivos, London.