We’ve all heard of the pay gap, but have you heard of the hunger gap? FACT: Women and girls account for 60% of all undernourished and food-insecure persons in the world.
It’s no secret that women in developing countries face higher economic barriers and have less access to resources than their male counterparts. However, many people don’t know that one of the richest countries in the world has a gendered hunger gap too. America, I am talking about you.
Mothers Eat Last and Least
Single-mother households are more likely to be food-insecure and live in poverty than any other US household. The food-insecurity rates both for single-mother families and women living alone are particularly higher than those of men. One in three single mothers struggles to feed herself and her children. When forced to choose, mothers will deny themselves meals to ensure that their children are fed.
Mothers who are struggling to get access to adequate food for the family will go to extensive lengths to protect the well-being of their children. Many times, this is at the expense of their own nutrition as they deny themselves meals in order to provide food for their children. Malnourished mothers then become susceptible to sickness and disease, sometimes resulting in their inability to go to work or take care of their children. It’s a vicious cycle.
Pregnant & Hungry
Pregnancy is a time when women are especially vulnerable to food insecurity. Pregnant women need up to an extra 500 calories, or otherwise can be faced with malnourishment, gestational diabetes, and iron deficiency. A malnourished mother can result in a malnourished baby with a low-birth weight. Hungry mom, hungry fetus.
Ending Hunger Means Leaving No One Behind
All persons, no matter what gender, are equally deserving of and have the fundamental human right to adequate food. While America’s gendered hunger gap is very complicated because it results from economic and social inequalities, there are ways we can help. Check out the TangoTab app for a free, easy, and fun way to provide meals to people in need.