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UN Official Says Women Hold Key to Solving Global Food Crisis

United Nations Deputy Secretary Genreal Asha-Rose Migiro said last week that women can contribute the most to finding a solution to the global food crisis. The UN News Service reports that Deputy Secretary-General gave voice to women’s importance to solving the global food crisis in an address to the Women’s Foreign Policy Group in New York.

According to a UN press release, food prices have risen 55 percent from June 2007 to February 2008, including an 87 percent increase in the cost of rice in March. The increase is a result of many factors including higher oil prices, harvests harmed by increasingly severe weather, and biofuel production. Women have been among the hardest hit by the increase in food prices in part because they represent between 40 and 80 percent of farmers in the developing world, reports Women’s eNews.

Women’s access to land, capitol, and technology is very limited, contributing to the effects of the global food crisis. A study released April 21 by the UN Food and Agriculture Association revealed that women cannot profit from biofuel production, one of the causes of the food crisis, because of their lack of access to land, capitol, and technology. If women did have access, according to Women’s eNews, the worst effects of the global food crisis could have been prevented.

Deputy Secretary-General Migiro told the UN News Service, “We need to do much more…to empower women. Women can drive the Green Revolution in Africa. They hold the key to breaking out of the food crisis; to educating the young; to peace, progress and prosperity.”

Sources:

UN News Service 05/02/08; UN Press Conference 04/24/08; Women's eNews 04/27/08; FAO Newsroom 04/21/08

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