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Women: A Force to End Hunger and Poverty Ann Nielsen-Yen
• Ghana is a success story in eradicating hunger. • In 1990 44. 4% of the population were undernourished by 2012 the hunger rate had dropped to 4%. • The key to Ghana’s success is it has kept the peace, build strong institutions of democracy and experienced robust growth in the economy and especially in the agricultural sector. • This growth was fueled by policies that provide a larger return to producers and by relatively strong cocoa prices.
Introduction: World Hunger • Hunger has been a chronic and unrelenting problem for ages (Sachs 2005). • To confront the problem UN inaugurated the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 1945. • Initially most countries moved in the right direction. • Hunger even declined in the 1970 s and 1980 s. • Subsequent FAO reports revealed that hunger began to rise again in the mid 1990 s. • At the 1996 Rome World Food Summit the FAO proposed a goal of halving Hunger by 2015, compared with a baseline of 1990. • This goal was adopted as the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG 1) at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000.
Introduction: Gender Inequality • Throughout the ages, the talents, skills and productivity of women have not been sufficiently utilized. • When gender discrimination and social norms restrict women’s activities and prevent large segments of the female population from participating fully and productively in society, their talent, skills, and energy remain untapped. • This prevents women from contributing to overall societal development. • Restriction on women’s activities can have dire consequences for countries’ capacities to reduce hunger, to generate economic growth and to govern effectively.
Scope of Study • This study examines the effect gender equality and empowerment of women in education, employment and political representation can have on the eradication of hunger and poverty. • Progress towards achieving the first three Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): • 1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; • 2) achieve universal primary education; • 3) promote gender equality and empower women.
LITERATURE REVIEW Poverty, Lack of Resource and Income • Hunger was found to be unrelated to food shortages by Amartya Sen when he studied famines in 1981. • Food prices had soared while farm wages had dropped making it hard for people to buy food. • Famines and natural disasters only account for ten percent of the hunger death experienced worldwide. It is everyday hunger, or endemic under-nutrition that is the focus of this study. • The principal reason for hunger is the lack of income, low purchasing power, and unemployment (Dreze & Sen (1989). • World Hunger Education Service (2012) add unequal income distribution in the world and in specific countries, and hunger itself.
LITERATURE REVIEW Cont. Agricultural Growth and Food Production • Increased agricultural productivity is absolutely essential for economic progress (Nobel laureate Sir Arthur Lewis 1965). • China’s economic boom happened first in agriculture and then in manufacturing (Dreze and Sen 2013). • 75% of the world’s poor live in rural areas of developing countries, where agriculture is the predominant form of income generation and employment (World Bank 2008). • In these developing countries, GDP growth originating in agriculture is four times more effective in raising incomes of the extremely poor people than GDP growth originating outside that sector.
LITERATURE REVIEW contd. Integration in the World Market • Countries that have opened their economies to global markets have reduced hunger and poverty to a greater extent than countries that have remained relatively closed (Sachs and Warner 1995). • Nations where hunger have dropped the fastest have nearly all increased their global trade over the same period (Reeves 1998). • Since China embarked on its open door economic policy in 1978, its poverty rate has fallen 60 percent (Reeves 1998). • Trade has a significant positive impact on growth (Busse and Königer (2012). • Liberalization policy improved export in Bangladesh which eventually led to higher economic growth after 1990 (Manni and Afzal 2012).
LITERATURE REVIEW Contd. Institutions, Governance and Corruption • Levels of democracy and law-and-order across countries have proven to be among the most important determinants of economic growth (Barro 2000). • The rule of law and strength of property rights are important elements of a good incentive regime (Knack and Keefer 1995). • There is a significant negative association between corruption and economic growth and development (Knack and Keefer 1995; Mauro 1995). • Corruption weakens the effectiveness of development policies (Knack and Keefer 1995; Mauro 1995). • Corruption decreases GDP growth (Mauro 1997). • There is a significant impact of corruption on increased inequality (Gupta, Davoodi and Alonso-Terme 1998).
LITERATURE REVIEW Contd. Conflict, Civil War and Political Instability • Conflicts and civil wars are major sources of poverty and are associated with worse economic performance, lower food production per capita, high infant mortality, and low school enrollment (Feng, Kugler and Zak 2000; Stewart and Fitzgerald 2001). • Conflicts in Africa have been the most fatal the world has experienced since World War II. • The war in Sudan has now lasted 47 years. • Somalia has been a failed state since 1991. • The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed an estimated 5. 4 million people since 1998 • The number of undernourished people in Congo tripled affecting about 70 percent of the population (FAO 2006).
THEORETICAL LINKAGES Gender Equality in Education • Increasing investment in women’s human capital, especially education, should be a priority for countries seeking to increase both economic growth and human welfare (T. Paul Schultz 1993, 2002). • Rural household surveys in Kenya and Nigeria demonstrate that if women had the same resources and education as men food production could increase by 22 percent (Quisumbing 1996). • Inequalities in social institutions are particularly pronounced in countries with low female literacy (Jűtting et al. 2008). • Gender inequalities in education affect long-term economic growth by lowering the average level of human capital (Klasen 1999). • Female secondary education achievement is positively associated with economic growth, while male secondary achievement is negatively associated with growth (Dollar and Gatti (1999).
THEORETICAL LINKAGES Gender Inequality in Employment • • • A study by the World Bank in 2001 found that women’s wages were 77 percent of male wages in industrial countries and 73 percent in developing countries. Gender gaps in employment reduce economic growth (Galor and Weil 1996 and Klasen and Lamanna 2009). In contrast, large gender pay gaps and low female wages increased the competitiveness of export-oriented industrialized economies and thus boosted growth performance (Seguino 2000 and Blecker and Seguino 2002). Another reason for the lower status of women in economic affairs is their lack of access to land economic resources. Field studies from the Sub-Saharan Africa region found that by equalizing women’s access to resources and credit, agricultural productivity could rise by 10 to 20 percent (Saito, Mekonnen and Spurling 1994)
THEORETICAL LINKAGES Women’s Political Representation • Evidence from around the world show that women politicians are making a difference in terms of policies and their implementation. • Female legislators raise different concerns and issues than their male counterparts. • Women are more likely to support policies on health care, child care, family issues, gender equality and act as advocates for the disadvantages parts of society. • Women’s participation in local councils in India bring larger provision of public goods aimed at improving the well-being of children and families (Chattopadhyay and Duflo 2004). • In Rwanda women’s first priority is children (Powley 2007). • Women’s political representation matters because it can have an impact on the quality of governance and the effectiveness of policies (Bonomi, Brosio, an Di Tommaso 2013).
Women’s Political Representation Cont. • Women are better at creating and keeping the peace in post-conflict societies. • Women legislators generally vote against increased military spending (Myers 2008). • The greater the representation of women in parliament, the lower the level of corruption in a country (Dollar, Fishman and Gatti 1999) • Corruption is more prevalent when women’s rights are restricted (Kaufmann 2001). • Mauro (1997) found that corruption decreases GDP growth. • Women are less often involved in bribery while men are 3. 3 percent more likely to accept bribes (Swamy et al. 2001).
Data-UN FAO Hunger Index • Providing data on the prevalence of under-nutrition since 1987. • FAO index became subject to sharp criticism between 1998 and 2010 (Svedberg 2000, 2002 and Smith 1998). • In 2012 an improved methodology based on household consumptions surveys were used to calculate the data for the annual SOFI report. • The entire series of undernourishment figures were updated back to 1990. • The FAO hunger index is the dependent variable. • Countries with hunger levels of less than five percent are considered hunger-free by the FAO index. Data for those countries are based on estimates by IFPRI.
Independent Variables • Female literacy (15+) • Girl/boy primary enrollment ratio • Female/male secondary enrollment ratio • Women’s share of the labor force • Women employed in the non-agricultural sector • Women’s political representation • GNI per capita, adjusted for (ppp) in current international $. • Democracy, quality of institutions and governance • Open trade, openness to international trade • Conflict, guerilla warfare, riots, revolutions and demonstrations • Food production, index
Table 1: Variables Names, Definitions, and Sources. • • • • • • • Variable Name Hunger Food Prod GNIcap Femlit Definitions Proportion of undernourished people Foof Production Index (1999 -2001 = 100) Income per capita generated by nationals Percent of literate females (age 15 -64 Primaryrat Schoolrat Alllevels Femlabor Femnonag Girls/boys primary enrollment ratio Female/male secondary enrollment ratio Combined Primaryrat & Schoolrat Women’s share of the labor force (15 -64) Share of women employed in non-ag sector (% of total non-agricultural employment). % women wage-employed in formal sector % parliamentary seats occupied by women Proportion of female in total population (%) Fertilizer applied (kilograms per cultivated hectare) Export plus Import as a share of GDP Guerilla Warfare, Riots, Revolutions and Demonstrations Femwage Femgov Fempop Fertilizer Tradeopen Conflict. B Democracy Degree to which the political institutions are democratic (-10 least democratic 10 most) Data source_____ FAO (SOFI Report 2013) WDI (World Bank 1990 -2012) & UNESCO (Statistical Yearbooks) WDI (World Bank 1990 -2012) Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) WDI (World Bank 1990 -2012) Int’l Finance Statistics Banks’ Cross-National Time Series, (1990 -2011) Gurr’s Democracy Index Polity IV. , (1990 -2012)
The Sample • Countries with population over half a million for which hunger data were available between 1990 -2012. • The data-set covers up to 163 countries. • Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), East Asia and Pacific (EA/P), South Asia, Transition and OECD countries are well represented in the sample. • Data gaps in female aggregated variables led to a number of countries from the developing regions being dropped from the sample. • Data availability determine the final selection of countries used in the analysis and might not be free from selection bias.
Econometric Specifications • The system GMM model was selected to estimate the regressions. • The lagged dependent variable is included in the set of explanatory variable. • The lagged variable makes it an appropriate technique for modeling the type of relationships examined in this paper since past hunger is a major cause of current hunger. • This alternative estimation technique not only corrects the bias introduced by the lagged endogenous variable but the GMM model also circumvents the problem of possible endogeneity of some regressors, often used in growth and equality equations • A key feature of the GMM estimator is that it differences each variable so as to eliminate the country-specific effect and other country-specific factors influencing growth then uses all possible lagged values of each of the variables as instruments, thereby providing a large number of instruments • Applying the system GMM specification yields the following: • ΔYi, t = αΔyi, t-1 + ΔXi, tβ + ηi + ξt + εi, t • where Y is hunger and X is a row of vector of the factors determining hunger ηi is the individual country fixed effect, and ξt is a timespecific effect.
Countries That Have Reached the MDG 1 Target of Halving Hunger
Hunger increased in the following countries
Proportions of the Population Living With Hunger
Table 3: Regional Progress Toward Reaching the 2 nd and 3 rd Millennium Development Goals
Regional Gains In Female Participation In The Labor Force and Employment In The Non-agricultural Sector
Women’s Political Representation
Table 5: Regression Results System GMM Estimates: Dependent Variable Hunger (FAO)
Table 5 System GMM Estimates: Dependent Variable Hunger (FAO) Contd. Regression coefficients with standard errors in parentheses. Significant at *10%, **5%, ***1%
Table 4 Correlation Schedule
Conclusion and Policy Implications • It is clear that women are a significant contributing force for hunger reduction world wide. • Great progress was made in female literacy and education. • The quantitative regression analyses based on data from 163 countries over a span over 23 years clearly substantiate these conclusion. • Little progress was made in employment. Poor command over land productive resources, discrimination in work and pay and women being charged with lower productivity levels due to childbearing and family roles hinder women from contributing more extensively to their country’s growth, and to the eradication of hunger and poverty. • The policy implication of these findings is to create greater gender equality in employment and to increase female employment rates to match male rates as recommended by consultancy Booz & Company (2013). • This could increase GDP significantly in countries with low female labor participation like India and Egypt to 27 and 34 percent respectively by 2020.
Conclusion and Goal for New Global Agenda Gender Equality in Employment • One way to accomplish gender equality in employment would be for governments to push employers to treat men and women equally. • An extensive experiment in female employment has occurred in Scandinavian countries. It was not done by private sector firms but by governments, which employed women in public sector jobs. Governments are able to do this because they do not face market competition (Iversen and Rosenbluth (2010). • Gender equality in employment should be a goal for the New Global Development Agenda.
Conclusion and Future Research • One of the most remarkable political developments around the globe since 1990 has been women’s increased political representation. • Increased female political representation was found to have a statistical significant impact on reducing hunger. • This finding is important because there has not yet been any empirical investigation on the effect women’s political representation can have on hunger or economics growth and development. • The benefit of women’s increased political representation is an understudied field and more research should be devoted to this topic.