Food Security and Women's Empowerment

U.N. session focuses on women’s economic empowerment

The 61st session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which was held March 13–24 in New York, was dedicated to examining women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. In a panel organized by the Women’s U.N. Report Network, two Northwestern professors described some of the causes and consequences of women’s food insecurity, as well as how it holds women back.

IPR anthropologist Sera Young drew attention to an “invisible” factor that keeps women from achieving economic empowerment: depression. Young noted that adverse mental health, especially depression, is one of the largest contributors to disability-adjusted life years, a measurement that looks at overall disease burden based on the number of years lost due to ill health, disability, or early death.