Home
The Family Meal - Empower the Woman, Feed the Family

Economy – οικονομία
...from the Greek words, ‘Οίκος’ (house) and ‘νέμω’ (distribute), ‘home management’

In Europe today, the word ‘economy’ most commonly refers to matters of society, but its origins are clear to see in the families where WFP provides EU-funded assistance. Scarce resources necessitate truly ‘economic’ choices. In the families photographed for this project, the chief economist of the household was without exception the mother. Such consistency is the basis of WFP’s belief that if you empower the woman, you feed the family.
In the countries where WFP works, 90 percent of the work that goes into the family meal is done by women.
In Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, mothers and daughters share time together preparing the family meal. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
From growing and harvesting the food, to its preparation, women are mainly responsible for putting food on the family table.
Jazmin, a Colombian refugee, not only takes care of her own family meal, but occasionally also feeds her brother and his four children at her small dinner table in Ecuador. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
They play a key role in guaranteeing food security for the household.
Aida’s family in Niger is one of thousands of vulnerable families supported by WFP. She lost her left arm in an accident, but still performs hard physical work each day. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
In Africa, in particular, the women we prioritise for food assistance work on average twice as long as men every day.
A woman carries a bundle of branches to her home in Niger. Searching for firewood for cooking is a common task, most often done by women. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
WFP’s activities are therefore directed to women wherever possible.
Women line up to receive WFP-EU food vouchers and cash at a distribution site in Chad. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
We ensure that, whenever possible, distribution of cash, trainings in food preparation, starting micro-businesses and the cultivation of vegetables are provided to women.
A Colombian refugee in Ecuador sells her products to a local store, where newly-arrived refugees buy their food with electronic payment cards provided by WFP.© World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Also equipping women with knowledge and putting money in their hands have proven to bring more benefits to a family’s education, health and the nutritional status of children.
A woman attends a WFP distribution site with her three-year-old granddaughter in Niger. Women play a key role in guaranteeing the food security of their households. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Therefore, investing in women can pay dividends for generations to come.
Oo Eain and her son live in a camp for people displaced by conflict in Myanmar’s Shan State. In addition to a rice ration, her family receives a monthly cash grant so that she can go shopping to diversify her family’s diet. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
And is key to breaking the intergenerational cycle of hunger.
A woman collects her family’s daily ration of fresh bread in Zaatari refugee camp in nothern Jordan. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Research suggests that an increase in family income is of greater benefit to children’s health and nutrition when it is directly managed by women.
In Chad, a woman registers for her family’s WFP cash grant. Experience shows that in the hands of women, food is more likely to reach the mouths of children. © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU
Thus, although women are more likely to be the victims of hunger, they are also the most effective solution to combating hunger and preventing malnutrition.
A woman carries her child in Myanmar. WFP’s assistance in the country targets especially children under the age of five and pregnant and nursing women. ​© World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU