By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
A short way out of eliminating malnutrition in the society is by empowering women.
A lecturer from the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kaduna Polytechnic, Safiya Aliyu Tijjani, expressed this while presenting a paper titled: ‘Nutrition and Gender’ on day two of a workshop organised by the Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP) for Kaduna based journalists in Zaria on Saturday, February 3, 2018.
“Women with control over resources have better provisions to provide care to children.
“Women are happy to see their children eating. Hence they use resources at their disposal to buy food to feed the family.
“I know of a banker who works in Kano but leaves behind only one thousand Naira for his wife for a whole month, a development which is worrisome,” she said.
Speaking further, she said that there is a circle of generation of malnutrition, passed on from one woman to another.
“A woman that is malnourished before conception, passes it on to the child. That is why most women have anemia during pregnancy, when the baby takes up the iron from the mother and stores it in its liver before it is born,” she said.
She lamented that gender inequality malnutrition affects girls because in most families, the boys are given more food than the girls.
“Girls are valued less in some communities. They served less food and less likely to receive medical attention when they fall sick. In some families, some women even need to take permission from their in-laws before they can access healthcare,” she stressed.
She appealed to the media to be agents of change that can ensure bad practices contributing to malnutrition are eliminated.