Empowering women key to address inequality in food security: Maya

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Staff Reporter:

Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya on Wednesday stressed the need for ensuring women’s education, income and empowerment for the country’s food security.

“To address gender inequity in food security, awareness must be started from family level. If we want to ensure food security, we must ensure education and income for women and their empowerment,” said the minister while addressing a discussion in the capital.

Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief and the World Vision Bangladesh jointly arranged the discussion titled ‘Addressing Gender Inequality in Food Security Programming’ at Hotel Amari, Gulshan-2.

The national learning event was organised to disseminate the outcomes of a USAID-funded project Nobo Jatra.

Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Md Shah Kamal, Khulna Divisional Commissioner Lokman Hossain Miah, chief of party of Nobo Jatra project (World Vision Bangladesh) Rakesh Katal, senior programme development specialist of USAID – Bangladesh Mahmuda Rahman Khan, gender and social inclusion specialist of World Vision International Krista Bywater and director of USAID’s Office of Food, Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Paul Mason, among others, spoke at the discussion.

Speaking as the chief guest, Maya said a vigorous social movement must be created aiming at ensuring food security for all in the country.

“Inequity in food security is not created for lack of food. But, it is created because of our poor mentality,” he added.

Urging all to change their mindset towards women, the minister said rural teachers and opinion leaders, public representatives and influential people must play a role in this regard.

He said the government has ensured equal supply of food to all districts, but now a social and cultural movement should be created to ensure the equal rights of all members of a family to food.

Dr Sanzida Akhter, an associate professor of the Department of Women and Gender Studies at Dhaka University, and Tasnuva Zaman, gender manager of Nobo Jatra, made separate presentations on gender inequality and food security at the event.unb

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