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Kate Jongbloed

World Food Day: Bringing women to the table

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Kate Jongbloed

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Globally, 805 million people do not have enough food to eat. It’s a big problem, and women must be at the table in order for change to happen.

Empowering women is key to combating hunger and malnutrition and women around the world are ready to step up to tackle this issue.

Power to grow and thrive

Young man and young women work in farm field.

Sarah walks among her crops with a field worker.

If female farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million. When women have the resources they need to build productive farms, it’s a win-win situation.

In Zimbabwe, Sarah Sambo was struggling to raise her sons after the death of her husband. With no land to farm, she went to live with her brother-in-law. He provided her with two hectares of land to cultivate.

With help from Plan Zimbabwe’s Food Security project, Sarah received seeds to start her farm. Without any cattle to help her plough, it was hard work. Nonetheless, her first crop was a success, and she began to be seen as a model farmer by others in her community.

As well as being able to feed herself and her children, Sarah’s hard work has helped bring improved farming techniques to her area.

“I don’t need to go to South Africa to look for work in order to send my children to school like many widows here do,” she states. “I can do a lot for my survival here with my hands. I am miles ahead of other long established male farmers who used to be described as the best farmers, but now come to me for advice,” Sarah says proudly.

Grandmas serve up healthy dishes in Benin


Women prepare a healthy meal.

Grandmothers prepare nutritious meals.

Grandmothers in Benin are playing a big part in keeping their grandchildren healthy with nutrition knowledge passed down through generations.

1 in every 3 children under the age of 5 suffers from chronic malnutrition in Benin. To meet the challenge, grandmothers from 160 different communities across Benin have signed up to tackle malnutrition. So far, more than 12,000 grandmothers have enrolled in a Plan-supported project to curb malnutrition rates.

These grandmas receive training on how to prevent malnutrition – like what to feed undernourished children and how to recognize early signs of malnutrition. They also learn how to cook nutritious meals using locally available produce. Best of all, they share their knowledge with their families and communities, passing down recipes and giving sound advice!

Young mother poses surrounded by her four sons.

Rosine poses with her four sons.

Rosine (25) is one of the young mothers who benefits from the grandmothers’ knowledge. She regularly attends cooking sessions held in her village by a group of local grandmothers who teach young mothers to prepare nutritious meals for their children.

“Through the demonstrations we learn how to cook and keep our children healthy at a very low cost. The grandmothers who teach us the recipes use local and easily available ingredients which are easy to cook and are very healthy for children,” says Rosine.

You can help women in the developing world end hunger


Provide women and their families with nourishment right in their own backyard. The gift of Endless Harvest provides gardening essentials, quality seeds, essential agriculture tools and valuable training that can help women harvest their own crops, which means they can even sell extra produce for income!

Give the gift of Endless Harvest!