Overcoming gendered nutrition gaps can be a critical part of the path to girls and women’s social and economic empowerment.
Shockingly, we are still living in a world where women and girls in many contexts are still receiving smaller portions, eating less nutritious food, while men and boys are favored with proteins or more nutritious and micronutrient-rich foods. We are still living in a world where 1 in 4 girls will marry before they are 15 in the developing world! Early marriage doesn’t only negatively impact a girl’s health and nutritional status, but also hinders her educational and economic opportunities. They are less likely to know about and advocate for their own nutritional needs and have less optimal feeding practices for their children thus, increasing the risk of LBW, under-5 stunting, dying before age 5 and reduces years of schooling both for the mother and her child later in life.
Good nutrition is so much more than a full stomach. It builds on the capacity to dream and the power to achieve. It’s the difference between a girl giving birth to a child and giving her life, between attending school and learning there, and between simply surviving and having the chance to thrive.
At its core, nutrition is the difference between what could be and what never gets the chance!