GFAR blog, Research in society

What would a woman do?

Meghalaya October 2015 © andré j fanthome 0360

Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world” is a popular saying by Marilyn Monroe.

How about we give a woman the right tools so she can fix this world? It’s worth a try.

Today at one of the CFS44 side events, the panelists were discussing the role of women for better food security and nutrition. It’s an ugly truth that women, still, face injustice and insecurities in many parts of the world. “Rural women’s role, often remain undervalued by policymakers” pointed out Karim Hussein from GFRAS. Their roles are limited and they have little or no say at all in important decision-making process. To begin with, they face constraints in their homes, decision making at a bigger level is just out of the question, for now. As Agusdin Pulungan shared, “Women can become champions when women have the strong role in the decision-making process”.

But is this really a man’s world?

I come from Meghalaya which is a matriarchal and matrilineal society. No, we don’t say that women are superior to men. But both men and women have certain roles to play and they work together for the wellbeing of the family and community. Most importantly, we agree that women are the feeders and nurturers. They are the legal custodians of the land, the biodiversity, and the children. They take care of the food systems and the traditional knowledge that has been passed down by our ancestors. In the context of food, generally, women are also the safeguards of seeds which is important for sowing the future. In general, these respected roles translate into a respect for the equal rights of women and girls in the local communities.

Now that is the story of a single society. But is it a different story for the non-matriarchal societies? Let’s take a look.

Read the full post on the CFS blog here.

This blogpost covers the CFS44 side event: “Delivering on the SDGs by focusing on gender equality and women’s empowerment and leadership for better food security and nutrition for all”

Blogpost by Alethea Kordor Lyngdoh, #CFS44 Social Reporter – alethea.nesfas(at)
Photo Credit: Andre J Fanthome, The Indigenous Partnership

This post is part of the live coverage during the 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security, a social media project supported by GFAR. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.

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