WFP’s Chief of Women, Children and Gender Policy, Isatou Jallow, was in Washington D.C. on Monday to brief U.S. lawmakers on empowering African women in emergencies. Jallow pointed to a recent study from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that showed how countries with the highest levels of hunger also post the highest rates of gender inequality. She urged lawmakers to consider how food, nutrition, and access to resources empower women to be at the center of their communities.

Jallow said that women-driven WFP projects like Purchase for Progress and Food for Assets do more than enable women to better care for the health of their families.  “They turn women into managers, into economists and bankers,” as they make choices for their communities, Jallow said, addressing an audience which included representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Women’s Refugee Commission.