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In 2021, approximately 96 million people have been pushed into poverty as a result of COVID19, of whom 47 million are women and girls; pulling up to 435 million the number of women and girls living on less than $1.90 a day globally.
Since 1980 the top 1% richest individuals in the world captured twice as much growth as the bottom 50% individuals. Simultaneously, in 2018, women were estimated to be 26% less likely to be employed than men. Economic and gender inequalities are thus both continuously widening.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), unpaid care work is the main reason why women are outside the labour force. Despite care work being necessary to our society and to nutritional security, the patriarchal system on which our economy is based, and the assigned gender roles it entails, places on women most of the responsibility for unrecognized, and hence not paid nor compensated, care work – denying the need for redistribution between genders, nor between households and States’ institutions. Consequently women are left with very little time, energy and opportunities to develop income generating activities.
According to the ILO, care activities are comprised of two broad kinds. First, those that consist of direct, face to face, personal care activities, such as feeding a baby, nursing a sick person, helping an older person to take a bath, carrying out health check-ups or teaching young children. Second, those involving indirect care activities, which do not entail face-to-face personal care, such as cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry and other household maintenance tasks that provide the preconditions for personal caregiving. These two types of care activities cannot be separated from each other, and they frequently overlap in practice, both in households and in institutions.
Women and girls are at the frontline of poverty and the fight against hunger. Based on data from 29 Action Against Hunger publications, including 13 gender analysis and 10 nutrition causal analysis (Link NCA), covering 15 countries in 7 different regions from 2012 to 2021, this policy brief aims to demonstrates how unpaid care work fuels gender inequality and is a root cause of poverty and hunger. By disproportionally assigning care work to women and girls, particularly during the critical nutritional period of the first 1000 days of a child’s life, gender roles put women at greater risk of poverty while at higher responsibility to fight hunger.
 G. Azcona, A. Bhatt, J. Encarnacion, J. Plazaola-Castaño, P. Seck, S. Staab, L. Turquet, UN Women (2020). From insight to action – Gender equality in the wake of Covid19. Geneva. p. 6, 7
 Last know data from 2016. Fa. Alvaredo, L. Chancel, T. Piketty, E. Saez, G. Zucman (2018). World Inequality Report. Paris. p.11
 International Labor Organization (2019). A quantum leap for gender equality: for a better future of work for all. Geneva. p.12-13
 International Labor Organization (2019). A quantum leap for gender equality: for a better future of work for all. Geneva. p.13
 Patriarchy refers to a traditional form of organizing society, which often lies at the root of gender inequality. According to this kind of social system, men, or what is considered masculine, is accorded more importance than women, or what is considered feminine. Traditionally, societies have been organized in such a way that property, residence, and descent, as well as decision-making regarding
most areas of life, have been the domain of men. This is often based on appeals to biological reasoning (most women are more biologically suited to breastfeed, for example) and continues to underlie many kinds of gender discrimination. Action Against Hunger – International (2021). Gender equality and gender based violence risk mitigation policy. Toronto. p. 11
 Gender roles refer to how people are expected to act, speak, dress, groom, and conduct themselves, as well as what is supposed to be their main activity in life, based upon their assigned sex. For example, girls and women are often assigned reproductive roles in society, which includes
tasks and activities relating to the creation and sustaining of the family and the household, while men are generally expected to uphold productive roles, which includes tasks and activities relating to the creation and sustaining of the family and the household, while men are generally expected
to uphold productive roles, which includes activities related to the production of goods for consumption or trade and incomegenerating activities.
 Link NCA is a participative, mixed method study used to identify the causes of undernutrition in a given context and to promote the implementation of programmatic responses adapted to these causes by all organizations involved in the fight against malnutrition. www.linknca.org
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