Social Issues May 24, 2012
G(irls) 20 Summit Sparks Discussion About Women, Girls And Food Security

The third G(irls) 20 Summit is kicking off in Mexico today. The G(irls) 20 Summit brings together girls from each of the G20 countries (and one representative of the African Union) a few weeks ahead of the G20 summit (also taking place in Mexico, on June 18th and 19th). Part of the goal is to find new ways to influence the world leaders at the G20 conference to consider the importance of women and girls in their countries and around the world.

This edition of the G(irls) 20 Summit focuses on the topic of food security, the ways that women and girls contribute to global prosperity, and the impact that violence against girls and women has on the food production worldwide. In a Huffington Post op-ed, Eve Crowley, Deputy Director of Gender, Equity, and Rural Employment at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) says the G(irls) 20 Summit will "focus on the opportunity gained in terms of strategically engaging women in agriculture and the opportunity lost as a result of violence against women".

The FAO released a report called 'Women In Agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development'. Crowley points to the report's finding that "just giving women the same access as men to seeds, fertilizer and tools could increase production on women's farms in developing countries by 20 to 30 percent. That's enough to lift up to 150 million of the world's hungry people ... out of hunger".

As well as discussing the issue of food security, and looking for ways to promote that issue on the world stage, G(irls) 20 also functions as a sort of "social entrepreneur's boot camp" as the Globe and Mail, one of the organization's media partners, puts it. The hope is that the girls who attend the Summit will take the knowledge and ideas they've gained back to their home countries and work on their own projects to improve life for women there.

Here's a video explaining what the Summit is all about, with some footage from last year's event in Paris, France:

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