Shaping Gender-Sensitive Approaches to Food Safety in Traditional Markets
To build successful food systems, gender dynamics within the system must be recognized and, where they lead to inequitable outcomes, addressed. A gender-sensitive approach, or gender integration, is defined by USAID as strategies applied in activity assessment, design, implementation and evaluation to take gender norms into account and to compensate for gender-based inequalities.
In many contexts, women and men have prominent, but often different, roles in traditional market systems and food supply chains, more broadly. Understanding the gendered dynamics that interact with consumers’ and vendors’ perception of food safety risks is key to addressing and potentially mitigating food safety hazards in traditional markets. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that almost 1 in 10 people fall ill to foodborne disease globally each year, with much of the burden falling within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This is a critical time to understand consumer-driven demand for food safety in emerging economies, and an opportunity to identify and test possible strategies and tools to improve it.
Feed the Future’s EatSafe: Evidence and Action Towards Safe, Nutritious Food (EatSafe) program has been learning about food safety in traditional markets with gender in mind. In its formative research, findings related to gender are highlighted.
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