International Women's Day [8 March 2015] is barely three days away. To mark this important day, I wrote a blog post on one of my professional interests – food safety – to highlight why research on food safety in informal markets needs to be carried out with a gender perspective.
Informal or traditional markets are very important for women, particularly in developing countries where most street food processors and sellers are women. Women often dominate in urban agriculture. Rural women are responsible for preparing and cooking food for their families, thus are important custodians not just of household food and nutritional security but also food safety.
Men and women have different roles in food production and processing. These different roles imply that men and women have different food-related benefits and risks. Therefore, if food safety researchers are going to make meaningful interventions to reduce risks and improve the safety of food sold in informal markets, they need to view food safety through a gender lens. This will help increase the capacity of women to manage food-borne health risks and improve food safety in the home and in the marketplace.
Happy International Women's Day 2015! Make It Happen! #IWD2015