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Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

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Malnutrition, much like poverty, is sexist. In virtually every country of the world, gender inequities and cultural norms hold women and girls back and render many unable to fulfil their rightful role as decision-makers – over their own minds and bodies, in their households, at work, and in their communities. Healthy women and girls, however, are the cornerstone of healthy societies. Provide girls and women access to good nutrition throughout their lives and they will deliver a healthier and wealthier world. This makes overcoming the obstacles created by gender-based inequalities, unequal access to resources and exclusion ‘the best bet’ for development. It is essential to reach all Sustainable Development Goals and to make sure the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition becomes a thing of the past. Simply put, we will not succeed in scaling up nutrition if we do not address the drivers and impact of gender-based discrimination. Promoting gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment must be at the centre of the SUN Movement’s work.

A call to action: Scaling up gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment to fight malnutrition

In May 2019, the SUN Movement Lead Group – in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, Nutrition International and Save the Children – have issued a call to action outlining how each level, and each actor, of the Movement can scale up gender equality and empowerment for maximum impact.

All SUN Movement actors need to reorient their work, to translate their gender equality and empowerment commitments into action and results at the country level. Why? Because our goal is a world free from malnutrition and transforming gender inequalities and power structures is critical to achieving this goal!

Download the call to action:

English | Français | Español

Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development & Minister for Women and Gender Equality of Canada

Gerda Verburg, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and SUN Movement Coordinator

Helle Thorning-Schmidt,
Save the Children CEO 

Joel Spicer, President and CEO,
Nutrition International

What can YOU do?

Any member of the community can:

Leaders in SUN countries can:
Businesses and the private sector can:

Civil society organizations can:

Bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and foundations can:

Regional and other international organizations can:

Academic institutions and alliances can: …………………………
All women and girls can:


Key resources

More information

Other partner initiatives and organisations

Deliver for Good: Inspiring SDG Action for Girls and Women
Deliver for Good is a global campaign that applies a gender lens to the Sustainable Development Goals and promotes 12 critical investments in girls and women to power progress for all.




Every Woman Every Child Every Adolescent
Every Woman Every Child provides an opportunity to improve the health of women, children and adolescents everywhere, and in so doing, to improve the lives of all people.

My wish  is that each decision-maker realises that equality for women and girls – all over the world – is key for the future and will lead from where s/he is! I will be a champion for this, working with partnerships like the Deliver for Good campaign to make it happen – Gerda Verburg, Assistant UN Secretary-General and SUN Movement Coordinator