How gender matters in a time of crises

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The world is far off track to reach Zero Hunger by 2030. Against the backdrop of the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflict in flash points around the world, hunger is on the rise. Between 691 and 783 million people in the world went hungry in 2022 – about 122 million more people than pre-pandemic levels – and a majority of those that went hungry were women.

Gender is intimately linked with crisis. Women tend to be among those most impacted by the compounded crises known as the ‘3 Cs’ – COVID, climate, and conflict. And now a fourth C – cost of living – has contributed to pushing more than 70 million people below the poverty line over the last four years. Women are overrepresented among the poorest households and therefore particularly vulnerable to these pressures.

But women are not one-dimensional victims of crisis. They are also key players, motivators, and innovators in recovery processes, and serve as protagonists of post-shock resilience. Women represented the majority of healthcare workers responding to pandemic outbreaks (and the majority of unpaid and unofficial care workers in homes and communities), frequently act as peacebuilders in conflict zones, and lead community initiatives coordinating mutual aid when official support systems are slow to respond.

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