When Nutrition Becomes Gendered
As people all over the world, observe World Food Day, we would like to shed light on food discrimination and gendered access to food items. To promote confidence-building and increasing the value of girl children as part of our Sports for Empowering Girls Program, we are dedicated towards the five most sex-skewed districts: Ambala, Kurukshetra, Jhajjar, Gurugram and Magendragarh.
Though the ice-breaking and introduction went well in other districts, Mahendragarh was the most orthodox and deeply rooted in patriarchy. After several advocacy sessions and successful implementation, the number of girls who participated and continuously came for training was beyond our imagination. Through the course of the program, the girls started opening up with us and decided to share their stories.
The girls who were eager and heavily invested in playing sports were being denied nutritious diets at home. Though they had the desire to get equal sports-playing opportunities like their male counterparts, but their bodies were not getting enough nutrients to match up. These girls would then travel 3-5kms everyday to get a small cup of milk that was provided as part of the program. This does not only highlight the discrimination against girls and their access to education and extra-curricular activities, but also their access to food at home. Where the boys of the family are given whatever nutrients that these rural families can spare, their girls have to travel for the same.
Therefore, on this World Food Day, let us not take our access to food for granted and promote equality even when it comes to necessities!