International Women’s Day: Celebrating women around the world working to end hunger

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

For far too many people around the world, getting enough food to eat is a struggle. And in many countries, women and girls face additional challenges in getting enough food simply because of their gender.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the important role women play around the world and to reflect on the increasing need for gender equality.

While women and girls are often the most vulnerable to food insecurity, poverty and discrimination, their strengths and skills are essential for ending hunger. Women play a key role in their households and communities, producing and preparing food, earning money, and caring for their families.

The Foodgrains Bank is supporting women and girls as they become change agents in their communities, equipping them with skills, tools, and opportunities for leadership.

Women and girls are often disproportionately affected by humanitarian crises such as war and drought.

By supporting humanitarian responses that both empower women and girls and account for their unique needs, the Foodgrains Bank is advancing gender equality while responding in situations of great need.

This International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women who are working to end hunger in their communities.

Here are some stories from around the world of women who are making a difference in the fight against global hunger:

Growing up strong and healthy in India


It’s only 8:30 a.m., but the temperature in the Sundarbans region of India is already hovering around 35 degrees Celsius.

If Tarijmana Bibi, 20, is bothered by the heat she isn’t showing it. She’s crouched low to the ground in the shade of her father-in-law’s compound, humming as she chops a mix of fresh vegetables with an old knife, pausing every few minutes to stir a large metal pot of boiling rice.

Preparing a meal with fresh vegetables might not seem unusual to North Americans. But where Tarijmana lives, vegetables are expensive and not readily available. And when they are available, it’s usually women like Tarijmana and her two-year old daughter, Rukaya, who are the least likely to get any. Read full story here.

Conservation agriculture: A game-changer for Jane


I met Jane in Kenya in July during a tour with Canadian Foodgrains Bank to learn about the benefits of agricultural aid that focuses on the small-scale farmer. Jane gave us a tour of her farm – about an acre! On that small farm she has moved from bare subsistence to having a surplus for market. With her earnings, she is able to feed her family, improve her standard of living, send her kids to school and start a business – yes, a ‘hotel.’ Read the full story here.

Help for Sarah and baby Martha in famine-affected South Sudan

Leaving home with three little children in tow and walking for three days wasn’t an easy decision for Sarah.

It was even harder knowing that making the journey meant risking being attacked by armed robbers or soldiers on the way, and only bringing what they could carry.

But Sarah didn’t have a lot of choices. Read the full story here.