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|All Authors / Contributors:||R Loewenson Affiliation: Training and Research Support Centre, University of Texas Medical Branch Texas, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org; LB Nolen; S Wamala|
AIM: This paper explores, through a review of literature, the link between globalisation and nutritional outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on the pathways of women's occupational roles on the food produced, consumed, and secured for households. METHODS: Following a framework linking globalisation and health, we drew evidence from peer reviewed, cross-national or large scale studies, official sources, reviews, online scientific databases, and case studies, published between 1990 and 2009. RESULTS: Publications cite improved technology, information, know how, normative commitments to and resources for human development, returns from access to investment in agriculture for low-income women producers, and urban employment opportunities reducing social discrimination and improving opportunities for household food security, particularly if access to these benefits is reinforced by national policy. However, many more publications cite negative consequences, including in falling national and local food self-sufficiency, livelihood and nutritional losses, widening inequalities, and in declining or insecure access to production inputs, markets, incomes, local foods, and healthcare. These effects are documented to increase time and resource burdens for women, with negative consequences for their own and their families' health and nutrition. CONCLUSIONS: The evidence suggests that globalisation-related economic and trade policies have, on balance, been associated with shifts in women's occupational roles and resources that contribute to documented poor nutritional outcomes in Africa. These trends call for public policies that address such positive and negative effects for women and for improved monitoring of such gender and socio-economic trends, especially at the household and community level, in the tracking of the Millennium Development Goals.
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