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Hungry for Gender Equality

OUT NOW – The 2022 Global Food 50/50 Report

Read the 2022 Report here.

“The Global Food 50/50 report gives us reliable and rigorous evidence of gendered and geographic inequalities in global food leadership.”

– Ambassador Gabriel Ferrero y de Loma-Osorio, Chairperson, Committee on World Food Security

Global food systems organisations are working to address some of the critical obstacles people and communities face in accessing food and nutrition security. The second annual Global Food 50/50 Report assesses whether and how such organisations are integrating gender and equality considerations in their work. The report reviews the policies and practices of 51 organisations as they relate to two interlinked dimensions of inequality: inequality of opportunity in career pathways inside organisations and inequality in who benefits from the global food system.

The primary aim of the Global Food 50/50 Report is to encourage food systems organisations to confront and address gender inequality within their organisations and governance structures, and in their programmatic approaches across food systems. A second aim is to increase recognition of the role that gender plays in who runs and benefits from food systems for everybody: women and men, including transgender people, and people with nonbinary gender identities.

The 2022 report shows that gender and geographic diversity are severely lacking in the boards of major global food organisations, with leadership positions dominated by men from the global north. This matters because representation from a narrow section of the global population will not result in policies and programmes that meet the needs and interests of all people, across all regions, including women. The review of board composition of the 24 organisations that were included in the analysis of board members showed that more than 70% of board seats are held by nationals of high-income countries. Just 8% of board seats are held by women from low- and middle-income countries.

However, there are indications of progress towards more inclusive organisations. Our findings show an increase in women board chairs from 24% in 2021 to 36% in 2022. More organisations are publishing board diversity policies—policies were found in 30% of organisations, a 10% increase since 2021. Moreover, the review located five new board diversity policies across the sample. A high proportion of organisations (49/52) have made formal and public commitments to gender equality and this has increased since 2021. In 2022, there was an increase of five organisations with gender-transformative programmatic approaches, from 60% to 70% and a decrease in the number of organisations with gender-blind approaches.

Despite some advances among some global food systems organisations, the sector has a long way to go to achieve gender equality in the boardroom, in the workplace and in who benefits from their work. The data in this report can equip leaders at all levels—from communities to workforces to boards—to take action, drive change, measure progress, and hold those in power accountable to their commitments to advance gender equality and transform food systems. A fairer, more gender-equal system will be best placed to end hunger, poverty, and inequality around the world.

The 2022 Report was launched at a Borlaug Dialogue Side Event on 18 October 2022. View the recording of the seminar here.

Global Food 50/50 is a joint initiative of Global Health 50/50, the International Food Policy Research Institute and UN Women. Global Food 50/50 emerges from and uses the methodology of the existing Global Health 50/50 initiative.