Prioritizing the nutrition of women and girls is one of the smartest investments a country can make to build its future prosperity. Women and girls are the influencers of the health and well-being of their families and their communities: when we invest in women and girls, we invest in the drivers of development. Yet, more than one billion women and girls do not have access to the nutrition they need to survive and thrive. This impedes their ability to succeed in school, the workplace and in their communities. By prioritizing women’s and girls’ nutrition, we can open a pathway to greater opportunities for all.
To increase attention to and investment for women’s and girls’ nutrition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organization, Global Affairs Canada and the UK Department for International Development developed an Action Agenda for Action to Close the Gap on Women’s and Girls’ Nutrition. Launched at the Global Nutrition Summit in Milan on November 4th, this action agenda is meant to serve as a preliminary framework for collective action for the global community.
The Action Agenda identifies five priorities that the nutrition community must prioritize to drive progress toward achieving SDG 2.2 and support many of the SDGs:
- Close the gaps on financing, evidence and data;
- Mainstream gender-sensitive nutrition interventions across multiple sectors;
- Adopt a lifecycle approach that prioritizes adolescents;
- Tackle anemia for women and adolescents; and
- Advocate for political leadership and mobilize new resources.
The Action Agenda is an initial call to action for the global community and, as such, others are encouraged to join and share their inputs at upcoming opportunities, including the Committee on World Food Security. We can’t achieve our global goals if half the world’s population continues to be left behind, and their potential and talent continues to go untapped. Momentum for this Action Agenda must be sustained so that we can catalyze progress towards the entire 2030 Agenda.