Women around the world are models of strength and perserverance. In spite of the fact that they along with their children suffer disproportionately the effects of poverty and hunger, women nonetheless

+ produce an estimated half of the world’s food;
+ are responsible for about 60-80% of food crops in the developing world;
+ and are more likely to spend their income on the wellbeing of their children–buying more nutritious food, purchasing school supplies, and paying for healthcare.

For this reason, women are key players in the fight against hunger and poverty. Consider the following facts.

+ Women’s education has the greatest effect on reducing child malnutrition, accounting for 43% of the reduction in malnutrition in the developing world from 1970-1995.
+ In India’s economic transformation, the states with the highest percentage of women in the labor force grew the fastest and had the largest reductions in poverty.
+ The total value of women’s unpaid house and farm work adds one-third to the world’s gross national product.

ELCA World Hunger recognizes the importance of supporting women in our efforts to combat hunger and poverty here and abroad. Your gifts to the World Hunger Appeal can (among other things) finance a micro-credit loan to woman to start a business or buy a machine to spin wool to increase her productivity. As you celebrate your mom this weekend, consider empowering other women around the globe with a Good Gift.

David Creech

All statistics in this post were taken from the Bread for the World Institute’s 2009 Hunger Report, pp. 60-67.