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By Marlysa Thomas, Bread for the World Institute
What will it take to end hunger among women and girls in the United States? Regardless of racial and ethnic background, women and girls living in the United States are more likely to experience hunger than men, and rates of hunger only increase for women and girls of color. It is surely no coincidence that women also earn less, have more health conditions, are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured, and face violence at higher rates than men. How, then, are we supposed to adequately respond to and ultimately end the vulnerability to hunger that women and girls in the United States face every day?
Hunger and poverty among women and girls is a problem that has several causes. As such, it will require several remedies. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 human development goals that offer just that—several remedies to address the multi-faceted, multi-layered issue of hunger and poverty. The SDGs were created and supported by the United States and 192 other countries, and combined, the SDGs show the way forward to a better world for everyone. Some of the goals include eliminating hunger, ending poverty, and achieving gender equality. The idea of leaving no one behind is integral to the SDGs. This, of course, includes all U.S. women and girls as a whole, and all U.S. women and girls of color.
Several SDGs would help end gender-based hunger in the United States. As Bread for the World Institute’s recent fact sheet, “Hunger and Poverty in Female-Headed Households,” explains, the most important goals to achieve zero hunger for girls and women in the U.S. by 2030 are Goal 5 (gender equality), Goal 10 (reduced inequalities, most prevalently racial inequality), Goal 8 (decent work), and Goal 3 (good health and well-being). These goals, working in tandem with one another, all contribute to closing the gender hunger gap and working towards zero hunger in the United States:
Ending hunger means leaving no one behind—an integral and central characteristic of the SDGs. We must support communities most affected, which include both women and girls as a group, and more specifically women and girls of color. Without gender equality, reductions in inequality (namely racial inequality), additional decent jobs, and affordable, good-quality health care, women and girls will continue to suffer from higher rates of hunger and poverty than males. Working toward the SDGs will provide increased access to the supports that will close the gender pay and opportunity gaps and contribute to ending hunger and poverty among women and girls in the United States.
Marlysa Thomas is domestic advisor for policy and programs for specific populations at Bread for the World Institute.
Several SDGs would help end gender-based hunger in the United States
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