Poor nutrition and lack of social status for women has resulted in poverty and malnutrition becoming “inheritable” for the Zambian woman, Civil Society Organisation -Scaling up Nutrition (CSO-SUN) has said.
CSO-SUN national coordinator William Chilufya said the low social status of women deprives them of the ability and resources needed for the prevention of malnutrition in their children.Mr. Chilufya said empowering women would enable them make effective decisions regarding their children’s nutrition thus preventing them from undernourishment.
“Women with poor nutrition are caught up in a vicious circle of poverty and malnutrition. The low social status of women deprives them of the ability and the resources needed to make decisions regarding their children’s nutrition and prevents them from accessing the services they need to protect their own health, nutrition, and survival,” he said.Mr. Chilufya explained that women have been caught up in a vicious circle of poverty which was partly responsible for the excessively high levels of childhood malnutrition, which should be the reason for placing nutrition development high on the gender agenda.
Mr. Chilufya was speaking in a statement on the commemoration of the International Women’s Day celebrations with the theme ‘The Genda Agenda: Gaining Momentum’.
He said poor nutrition was also responsible for increased reproductive and maternal health risks for pregnant women who suffer the risks in childbirth. He explained that poor female nutrition in early life reduces learning potential and lowers productivity which situation contributes to women’s diminished ability to gain access to other assets in the fight against gender inequalities.”Because of women’s cyclical loss of iron and their childbearing, their nutrition status is particularly vulnerable to deficiencies in diet, care, and health or sanitation services,” he said.
He further explained that the nutrition status of newborns and infants was closely linked with that of the mother before, during, and after her pregnancy.
He has advised the improvements in women nutrition, including girls’ nutrition which could translate into improved human capital as a solution to the devastating effects of malnutrition from adolescence.”Targeting to improve the nutrition status of girls and adolescents will help to ensure that women’s status improves throughout the life cycle,” Mr. Chilufya said.
He said in order to address the intergenerational transmission of poverty and poor nutrition, reducing the malnutrition rates among the vulnerable in the community such as women of reproductive age, infants, children and adolescent girls would escalate the progress in the gender agenda: gaining momentum.