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Nutrition: Women have a right to nutrition

By The editorial team Published on 8 March 2011

Women, like men, have the right to education, sanitation and perhaps most importantly, nutrition. Nutrition is something that is easy to overlook, when the focus of women's rights often centres around politics, career progression and equality However, even today, women all over the world are going hungry and are living in poverty. We've taken a look how hunger keeps women from achieving all they can in life...

Nutrition - it's a woman's right

While women for the first time in history outnumber men in the US workforce and the typical working wife today brings home over 40 percent of her family’s income, in developing countries women, who produce between 60% and 80% of all food, still account for over 60% of the world’s chronically hungry.

The statistics speak for themselves:

• African women tend to work 50% longer each day than men.
• In one out of three households around the world, women are the sole breadwinners.
• In Brazil, when income is in the hands of the mother, the survival probability of a child increases by about 20 percent.
• Women’s education has the greatest impact in reducing child malnutrition, accounting for a 43% reduction.

Given the important role women play in their communities as mothers and key providers of food for the household, it is crucial that women have access to the necessary levels of nutrition to maximize their productivity and their ability to give birth to healthy children and care for them.

Whilst education plays a vital part in advancing women's social and economic status, without adequate nutrition women will never be able to physically achieve their full potential.
A lack of adequate nutrition can mean a reduction of at least 10% of a girl’s lifetime earnings, and those girls and women who are fed well, are more likely to succeed as students, be more productive in the work force, and have less health complications.

Malnutrition and womens rights are not always associated together, but if we want to change the fate of many women, starting with health and nutrition can only be a good thing.

DSM, a world leader in nutritional ingredients, has amongst others partnered with World Food Programme. Together DSM and the WFP have led many efforts around the world to help millions of people gain access to proper nutrition.

One solution developed by DSM is a single dose sachet of vitamins and minerals, called MixMe™ that can be sprinkled over food while cooking or just before serving. It provides the household with the full ‘Recommended Daily Allowance’ of all essential micronutrients as recommended by the World Health Organization.

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