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WFP hails work of women in fighting hunger

March 8, 2011 at 9:36 AM   |   Comments

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PARIS, March 8 (UPI) -- Women are the "secret weapon" in the global fight against hunger as they make up most of the world's farming workforce, the World Food Program said.

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran marked the 100th International Women's Day by noting Tuesday that farming remains a labor-intensive but vital ingredient in the fight against hunger.

"But the face of those defeating hunger is also likely to be a woman's," she said. "Because women are our hope; the secret weapon in fighting hunger."

Sheeran noted that there are around 1 billion people in the world who aren't sure where they will get their next meal.

The WFP said most of the people it helps are women and children. But when women are at the front of the effort to combat hunger and malnutrition, Sheeran said, things get done.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said crop yields go up "exponentially" when it's women farmers who receive education, seeds and fertilizers.

"In keeping with the 2011 United Nations Women's Day theme of providing a pathway to decent work for women, we remember and celebrate all the women who fight with their lives to feed their families, their communities and their nations," said Sheeran.

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