29 October 2013

How land ownership can impact women's nutrition

Mwanza Bora member. Morogoro, Tanzania.
Arusha, Tanzania - Alfred Mufuga, 63, a farmer living outside of the town of Iringa, a few hour drive from Morogoro, does not think it is good for women to own land.

"The man is the head of the household," Mufuga said. "He ensures the prosperity of the family."

He did not say that his three wives would maintain ownership of his plot if something were to happen to him. Lack of land ownership, one of many forms of discrimination against women, is not just an economic and cultural inequity. It can be deadly.

An estimated 20% of maternal deaths in Tanzania are due to anemia, caused by malnutrition and lack of an adequate diet.

As Humanosphere reported last week, gender discrimination against women and girls often translates into malnutrition, higher disease and death rates. With Tanzania and other developing countries taking a greater investment in food security, women and girls need to be at the forefront of the conversation, says a new report.

"The needs of agricultural and rural women workers must be taken into account in recognizing their rights as workers in the food chain and ensuring their right to adequate food and nutrition," writes Sue Longley, international officer for agriculture and plantations at the International Food Union.

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