Helping women help themselves


With restricted access to jobs, income, land, agricultural inputs and other resources, it is an everyday challenge for women in the developing world to feed their families.

WFP works to improve women’s access to food and sustainable livelihoods by implementing Food for Work and Food for Training programmes that take into consideration their distinct needs and priorities.

Empowering women

Food for Work and Food for Training programmes are local initiatives that provide food rations to beneficiaries in exchange for work that profits their communities, such as building schools or sanitary facilities, or for they time they spend learning new skills like nutritional education or small business management.

Giving women the tools to thrive

In Bangladesh a programme run by WFP with the government provides 'disaster preparedness' training to women living in areas prone to flooding. They are shown how to raise their homes above water levels and  also how to dig ponds and canals for farming.  In return for attending the training they are given food rations. It's just one example of how food assistance can help women lift themselves out of poverty.

WFP aims to ensure that men and women are equally represented in the local committees that select Food for Work and Food for Training activities, that they participate equally and receive at least half of the assets generated.

As a result, an increasing number of projects focus on creating resources used by women, such as stoves and vegetable gardens, and improving conditions within their traditional sectors of activity such as keeping their homes replenished with water.

Looking ahead

Going forward, WFP plans to take steps to further facilitate women’s participation, including considering the incorporation of support systems such as childcare facilities into the programmes, and using them to further educate and engage men in household responsibilities.