Women working with vegetables, rice and other food

From its inception, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Safety (FSIL) has sought to engage and empower women in research projects to increase access to safe, nutritious diets.  Women are significant contributors in agricultural production, food processing and household food preparation, which all present strategic opportunities to prevent the spread of foodborne pathogens. Despite composing 43 percent of the global agricultural workforce and up to 60 percent in parts of Africa and Asia,  women often have less access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets than men; fewer than 20 percent of the world’s landowners are women, and female farmers receive only 5 percent of extension services globally. FSIL’s focus on food safety gaps in perishable, nutritious foods — including dairy, poultry, fish, and produce — also provides an opportunity to address the gender gap. Too often, gender is incorporated into research for development only by disaggregating data and indicators by gender or holding trainings for women. This is a great start, but it is unlikely to be transformative.

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