Good nutrition is critical (Guest blog post from 1,000 Days)

June 16, 2020
by Emma Feutl Kent, Manager of Global Policy and Advocacy, 1,000 Days

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in both its global scope and devastating impacts. The situation looks different in every country, but the pandemic has caused a global economic shutdown that is creating a malnutrition crisis felt the world over. Women, already 50% more likely to face malnutrition than men and boys, will bear the brunt of this crisis.

For those already pushed to the margins, including so many of world’s women and girls, COVID-19 represents a triple threat – to the hard-won development and gender equality gains to date, to the survival of women and children whose health and nutrition needs can’t wait, and to the future potential of every child growing up in this catastrophe.

Good nutrition is especially critical in three key areas:

  1. From even before a girl is born, good nutrition is a crucial component in supporting her lifelong right to health and survival, allowing women to live longer, better lives.
  2. By boosting individual workforce participation and earning potential, good nutrition has a proven positive impact on women’s full and equal economic participation and opportunity.
  3. Access to good nutrition allows girls’ brains to develop fully and impacts how well women and girls can perform in school. It also secures their right to equal educational attainment with men and boys.

We cannot allow the tremendous risk malnutrition poses – both to women and girls’ health and to their rights and empowerment – to take a back seat. There are concrete actions we can take today to limit women’s vulnerability to the malnutrition crisis and build resilience against future COVID-19 waves or new pandemics. For the sake of everyone, but especially for the women and children who will be hit hardest, it is imperative that we prioritize and fund nutrition in COVID-19 response and recovery plans today and in the future.

To learn more about the link between women’s empowerment and nutrition, click here.

To learn more about the threats COVID-19 poses to women’s nutrition, rights, and empowerment, and a set of concrete actions we can take to mitigate them visit here.

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