The Right to Food, Gender Equality and Economic Policy

This report is the culmination of a two-day experts meeting, “The Right to Food, Gender Equality and Economic Policy,” which took place on September 16-17, 2011 at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL). The meeting was organized as a means to contribute to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food’s work on gender equality, including a final report for the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2013. To this end, CWGL brought together economists, researchers and advocates, working from a feminist perspective on various aspects of the food system, to offer analysis and recommendations.

The objectives of the meeting were to: (i) address the connections between the realization of the right to food and economic regulation from a feminist perspective; (ii) make recommendations to the Special Rapporteur on the right to food as a means to fulfill his mandate; and (iii) strengthen feminist analyses and policy advocacy of civil society groups around macroeconomics, human rights and gender equality. The meeting specifically focused on: (i) the ways in which macroeconomic policy can comply with human rights obligations to food from a feminist perspective; and (ii) the connections between the achievement of human rights and the role of regulation, specifically the roles of international trade and local food systems. As the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) notes, “a lack of clarity remains with regard to the understanding of women’s rights and
especially women’s right to food.”