U of I conference explores nutrition, health, and gender in Sub-Saharan Africa

As the United Nations standing committee on nutrition states, “Malnutrition in all its forms amounts to an intolerable burden not only on national health systems but the entire cultural, social and economic fabric of nations, and is the greatest impediment to the fulfillment of human potential.”

The gendered dimensions of roles, resources, rights, and responsibilities in a society have a critical impact on health and nutritional opportunities and outcomes. To explore the range of disciplinary perspectives on the relationship between gender and health in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on nutrition and the role of agriculture, a two-day international conference on Nutrition, Health and Gender in Sub-Saharan Africa took place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this past November. The range of topics included access and equity in agriculture and agricultural services, the role and impact of micro-finance, empowerment, opportunities for big data, maternal-child health, and gender-based violence.

Both presenters and attendees left with new ideas, an expanded network of people to collaborate with, and papers to add to their libraries. The conference was well attended with 17 presenters and an average of 66 participants at each session. Speakers included: Margaret Mangheni, Makarere University, Uganda; Adolphus Johnson, Njala University, Sierra Leone; and Amparo Palacios-Lopez, World Bank, as well as several professors from the University of Illinois and keynote speaker Cheryl Doss, Yale University.

Resources such as presentations, photos, and more details can be found here: http://ingenaes.illinois.edu/nhg-conference/

The ACES Office of International Programs co-sponsored this event.

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Katy Heinz