Exploitative and unjust food systems a hindrance to food production, activists say.

Publicado: 23rd Marzo 2023

Over 60 activists, social movements, and women food producers that have gathered in Maputo, Mozambique for Women Food Convening 2023 conference say that the current global food system is exploitative, broken, unjust, marginalises women and exacerbates gender inequalities and hunger particularly in low-income countries.

While women globally represent a majority of the agricultural workforce and are custodians of food, maintain food heritage and culture and make household food decisions - the global food system is characterized by corporate capture, political failure, perverse market incentives and destructive industrial agriculture.

“The global food system is not just exploitative but hugely undermines the role of women and the youth in the whole value chain”, says Dailes Judge, Oxfam in Southern Africa Programme Director. “There is need to transform the food system by not only embedding gender in it but ensuring that it is women and youth led – the two demographic groups that are hugely impacted by its brokenness”.

Studies have shown that women produce 20 to 30 percent less than men farmers because they face two compounding layers of exclusion: being smallholder farmers and as women. Equalizing this gap could boost agricultural output and decrease global hunger by 17 percent. According to World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization, 80% of foodstuffs for household consumption and sale in local markets in sub-Saharan Africa are produced by women.

The Covid-19 Pandemic, conflict in Ukraine and some parts of the world and climate shocks - also fuelled by destructive agriculture – have exposed how poor governance and political failures world-over are the major reasons we have a broken and unjust food system that is disproportionally affecting women and youth.

Experts say a women and youth-led agriculture food system championed by political will, good governance from global and national governments and responsible private sector is crucial in solving global hunger that has been spiraling since 2019 and is now at such devastating levels around the world.

“Global hunger is happening not because of a shortage of food but it is a consequence of a broken food system that is further undermined by conflicts and worsening climate change”, says Diana Trevilla, a Mexican Feminist Agroecologist. “It is time to change the current food system that only benefits the few, and move towards food system that puts people over profits.”

“A feminist agroecology is all the feelings, -thinking and actions that take care of life in an integral sense, because they defend people, living beings, territories, ecosystems and cultures. A food system must not only move towards sustainable techniques, but also towards incorporating (making and-feeling in the body) daily practices and fair and equitable socio-environmental relations."

To amplify these calls with a collective voice, over 60 activists, social movements and some women food producers from over thirty countries globally are convening this week in Maputo, Mozambique from 20 to 24 March 2023 for a Feminist Food System Convening 2023 conference under the theme Together for A Fair Feminist Food Future. The conference will among others deliberate and make recommendations to global and national leaders on how a feminist food system can be realized and solve global hunger. 

Información de contacto

For interviews, please contacts Daud Kayisi, Oxfam in Southern Africa Media and
Communications Lead on dkayisi@oxfam.org.uk or 00265 999 826 757