Mainstreaming Gender in Nutrition Pushed

Mainstreaming Gender in Nutrition Pushed

The Gender Studies Center (GSC) geared up its campaign for gender mainstreaming at the 3rd Regional Management Conference of nutrition officers around Region 7 held September 12 to 14 in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental.

GSC Coordinator Dr. Andrea Gomez-Soluta, who was one of the resources persons, discussed the importance of including gender issues and considerations in the 2012-2016 Central Visayas Nutrition Strategic Plan.

In her lecture entitled “Integrating the Gender Perspective into Nutrition Programs,” she stressed the need for gender mainstreaming in agency programs.

“This will help policymakers observe gender equity and hopefully will create an impact leading to equality for all,” Dr. Soluta said.

At present, government requires an allocation of 5 per cent of an agency's budget for Gender and Development concerns.

She clarified that gender mainstreaming in nutrition and health requires sex-disaggregated data reports on infants, since results later on impact on the other areas of their lives.

“For example, malnourished kids often perform poorly in school, so they drop out. Eventually, they will occupy lower social and economic status in society,” Dr. Soluta explained.

Studies have proven that a person’s gender and age affect nutritional status.  With the sex-disaggregated data, she said, nutrition programs are better able to identify the different vitamins, food supplements and other nutritional requirements of boys and girls.

Dr. Soluta highlighted the gender synchronization approach as an effective gender mainstreaming framework. This approach was developed by the Interagency Gender Working Group in 2010, in cooperation with international bodies, such as the United States Agency for International Development.

“A gender-synchronized approach attempts to be all-responsive to the needs of girls or boys and men or women,” she said.

The GSC Coordinator added that gender mainstreaming is an effort that everyone has to be aware of and needs to be done in schools, offices and across sectors.