Globally, of the 1.2 billion people that live in absolute poverty, the majority are women and girls. Over a quarter of a million women die each year from largely preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Women play critical roles in food production and preparation, but in many cultures they consume the poorest quality food and are the first to face hunger when food is scarce. In Africa, despite contributing a large share of agricultural labor, women own just 1 percent of agricultural land and have less say than men over decisions and less control over household resources.
The data speaks for itself: poverty-fighting and humanitarian action programs need to place a special focus on empowering women and girls. They also are an important part of the solutions needed to truly overcome poverty.