Gender and Nutrition in Emergencies

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Submitted By wanjiku
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HAVE YOU READ SECTION A? Gender and nutrition in emergencies Emergencies are often characterized by a high prevalence of acute malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency diseases, which in turn lead to increased risk of death among the affected population and in particular among vulnerable groups. Women, girls, boys and men face different risks in relation to a deterioration in their nutritional status in emergency contexts. These different vulnerabilities are related both to their differing nutritional requirements and to socio-cultural factors related to gender. Good nutrition programming must take due account of gender issues at all stages of the project cycle — from participatory assessment and analysis through to surveillance, implementation of interventions, monitoring and evaluation.

How do gender issues affect nutritional status?

* In crisis situations where food is in short supply, women and girls are more likely to reduce their food intake as a coping strategy in favour of other household members. This can contribute to under-nutrition among women and girls.
Breastfeeding Challenges in Transition and Emergency Contexts
Following the October 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, Pakistan, women frequently shared a shelter with distant male relatives and/or non-related men. The lack of privacy and support led many women to stop breastfeeding as they felt uncomfortable exposing their breasts in front of men. This emphasizes the urgent need for lactation corners in emergency settings to ensure continued breastfeeding.

* Because of social traditions men and boys may be favoured and fed better than women and girls.

* Women may face constraints in accessing humanitarian services, including food, as a result of insecurity, cultural discrimination and limited mobility. * Women, especially those who are pregnant or lactating, may be disproportionately…...

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