ISBN 9781920597023
Pages 50
Dimensions 254 x 178mm
Published 2012
Publisher Southern African Migration Programme, South Africa
Format Paperback

Gender and Food Insecurity in Southern African Cities

by Belinda Dodson, Asiyati Chiweza, Liam Riley

This gender analysis of the findings of AFSUN’s baseline survey of poor urban households in eleven cities in Southern Africa in 2008 and 2009 has implications for urban, national and regional policy interventions aimed at reducing urban food insecurity. By comparing female-centred and other households, light is shed both on the determinants of urban food insecurity – which relate fundamentally to income, employment and education – and on the manifest gender inequalities in access to the largely income-based entitlements to food in the city. These insights can be used to design and implement practical and strategic interventions that could simultaneously and synergistically address both gender inequality and food insecurity. Practically, and in the immediate term, interventions such as social grants and food aid, if targeted at the poorest households, will automatically capture a greater proportion of female-centred households. Enhancing food security for the urban poor requires education and training, job creation, and income generation strategies, ensuring equitable access to such opportunities for women and girls. Supporting and enabling women’s engagement in such activities and enterprises – including in food production and marketing – has the potential to strengthen food security at the same time as reducing gender inequality, in a form of virtuous cycle.

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About the Authors

Belinda Dodson

Belinda Dodson is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair in the Department of Geography at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Asiyati Chiweza

Asiyati Chiweza is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies, Chancellor College, University of Malawi. She has a PhD from Curtin University, Western Australia and an MA in Public Administration from Dalhousie University, Canada. She has many years of local and international consulting experience dealing with local citizen voice programmes, and other issues related to advocacy, gender analysis, citizen participation, decentralization and local governance.

Liam Riley

Liam Riley is an SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, Canada.

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