Global Food 50/50

Global Food 50/50, a new partnership between GH5050 and the International Food Policy Research Institute, is using the GH5050 methodology to catalyse change for gender equality in global food systems

Introducing Global Food 50/50

A new accountability mechanism to advance gender equality in global food systems. 

“Writing in Global Health 50/50’s inaugural report, UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed hoped that other sectors will follow suit and undertake similar analysis to that of Global Health 50/50. This partnership with IFPRI represents a first step in response to this call. We will present a more detailed report in advance of the Food Summit this autumn. Ultimately, we hope that Global Food 50/50 will evolve to develop a better understanding of how food system actors can address the gendered nature of food production, marketing, preparation and consumption in our efforts to ensure sustainable, healthy and accountable food systems for everyone.” – Kent Buse and Sarah Hawkes Co-Directors, Global Health 50/50

Gender equality is a precondition for achieving the world’s shared ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, including delivering sustainable food systems. Gender is intricately linked to all components of food systems. Gender inequalities are both a cause and an outcome of unsustainable food systems and unjust food access, consumption, and production.

In the lead-up to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and its partners have selected 10 transformative areas of action to promote gender-equitable food systems. One of these areas is gender-responsive and gender-equitable leadership in food systems under Action Track 1 on Ensuring Access to Safe and Nutritious Foods. Among these actions, stakeholders have committed to establishing a global mechanism to monitor progress and hold food systems organisations accountable for achieving gender equality in leadership, setting gender-equitable internal workplace policies, and implementing strategies that advance progress toward gender-just and equitable food systems.

The proposed accountability mechanism, Global Food 50/50, emerges from the existing GH5050 annual report. Each year since its launch in 2018, GH5050 shines a light on whether and how organisations are addressing two interlinked dimensions of inequality: inequality of opportunity in career pathways inside organisations and inequality in who benefits from the global health system. The experience of GH5050 demonstrates that rigorous independent analysis placed in the public domain and amplified by motivating narratives about what is acceptable (and unacceptable) in society can drive progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and validate the decisive role that gender equality plays in their achievement.

Global Food 50/50 has the potential to achieve a similar impact in the global food system and act as an entry point for a cascade of changes throughout food systems. The 50/50 partnership argues that a combination of gender-responsive programming, gender-equitable institutions, and diversity in leadership will lead to more effective organisations and more equitable and inclusive food systems.

As a starting point, IFPRI and GH5050 will produce a short report for the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021. This report will adapt the methodology developed by GH5050, which reviews the gender-related policies and practices of 200+ organisations across 10 sectors active in global health and health policy in its annual report and Gender & Health Index. A subsample of 52 organisations have been identified as being active in the food system; findings on those organisations will be presented in the forthcoming report.

Following the Summit, the Global Food 50/50 initiative plans to produce an annual report monitoring the gender-related policies and practices of an expanded sample of global organisations active in food systems and food systems policy.

In advance of the Summit, this brochure provides a brief introduction to Global Food 50/50 and presents a limited selection of the findings as a preview of the upcoming Report. This analysis finds that almost the entire sample of global food actors are clear in their commitment to gender equality. Yet this is not consistently translated into transparent policies to advance equality in the workplace nor in equal representation of women and men in leadership. Strong and growing commitment, including new commitments generated through the upcoming Summit, however, inspires hope that rapid and sustained change for gender equality across the global food system is possible.

Find out more and read the brochure here.