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April 13, 2010

Obama administration, Congress should put women at the center

A new commentary published today in MinnPost (by IATP President Jim Harkness and Population Action International board member Thomas Lovejoy) asks Congress and the Obama administration to increase funding to improve global health and food security while keeping the issues of women in focus. Malnutrition, and lack of access to health services—especially in regards to maternity and family planning—disproportionately place the weight of neglect on the shoulders of women and families around the world..

"The fates of women and poor communities are inextricably tied to the environment," the authors write. "For example, after decades of neglecting agricultural development in poor countries, over one billion worldwide go to bed hungry each day." The commentary goes on to illustrate why, indeed, women truly need to be at the center of real, sustainable solutions. "Women produce up to 80 percent of the food in sub-Saharan Africa, but have access to less than five percent of land, credit and extension services."

While recognizing and praising the efforts of Minnesota's Betty McCollum (D-4th) and Keith Ellison (D-5th), the commentary asks the Obama administration to work with Congress in advocating for increased funding and better policy solutions that, for the time being, are not enough.

Read the entire commentary here.

Andrew Ranallo


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