Special Report: Women's Forum Italy || Why Women Hold the Keys to Overcoming the World Food Crisis




An ongoing series of articles highlighting upcoming topics and topical outcomes from Women’s Forum events around the world



WOMEN’S FORUM ITALY 2015 - Editorial: Jaqueline Franjou, Women's Forum CEO


When we talk about Nurturing a sustainable future, our theme for Women’s Forum Italy 2015, there are two very good reasons to talk about it with women in mind. Women and girls make up half the world’s population, and they are typically on the frontline not only when it comes to feeding their families but also when it comes to feeding the world. Women living in rural areas produce half of the world’s food and, in developing countries, they are responsible for between 60 percent and 80 percent of food crops. So first of all, if we are to overcome hunger and malnutrition, we must end practices that deny women their basic human rights, and we must pull down the barriers that prevent women from realizing their full potential in agriculture as in all other sectors. Secondly, we must rely on the intelligence and insight of women as we seek sustainable solutions to the world food crisis.


As we chart humanity’s course into a sustainable future, we must not only make sure women are on board; we must give them an equal chance to steer the ship.


In the course of our discussions at Women’s Forum Italy 29-30 June, we’ll focus not only on the problems – hunger, obesity, water shortages, food waste, climate change, food insecurity… – but on workable solutions where women can make and are making all the difference. We’ll see how women’s knowledge and concerted efforts are enhancing resource productivity, aiding in the conservation of ecosystems, and improving nutrition for men, women and children in all geographies and at all income levels. We’ll hear from trailblazers such as Ertharin Cousin, Vandana Shiva and Emma Bonino, and from leading business figures such as Guido Barilla, Fiona Dawson, Oscar Farinetti, and Alessandro Marchionne.


We are delighted to be having this Women’s Forum meeting in Italy, where the “slow food” movement began and where Expo Milano 2015 has brought nutrition and sustainability to the heart of the debate. We are proud to be associated with Valore D and WE-Women for Expo, two successful networks helping women in Italy connect with each other and with other women around the world. And we are grateful for the support of our corporate partners Bank of America, Chopard, The Coca-Cola Company, Generali Group, Sisal, CNH Industrial, Intesa San Paolo and Mars, Inc., and our media partners, France Médias Monde and L’Huffington Post.


Jacqueline Franjou, CEO of the Women's Forum; Emma Bonino, Former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs; Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile during the launch of “WE-Women for Expo” at the Universal Exposition 2015 in Milan, Italy