TMG Think Tank for Sustainability


Building Futures: Unraveling the Nexus of Food Security, GBV & Poverty in South Africa

The panel discusses the interconnection between gender-based violence, hunger and poverty

In the complex landscape of global challenges, the intersection of gender-based violence (GBV) and food security emerges as a critical nexus with far-reaching implications. This side event at the UNCSW aims to unravel the intricate connections between GBV and food security, delving into the multifaceted ways in which these two issues intersect. We will explore how GBV exacerbates food insecurity, creating a vicious cycle that disproportionately affects women and marginalized communities. Through insightful discussions and case studies, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the root causes and systemic barriers perpetuating this intersection, paving the way for informed policy recommendations and innovative solutions. Join us in this imperative dialogue as we strive to foster a more inclusive and resilient global community that addresses the intertwined challenges of gender-based violence and food security.Strengthening food hubs to combat GBV.

Food hubs, particularly community kitchens, serve as transformative spaces that extend beyond mere culinary functions, becoming vital platforms for fostering safety, community building, and information exchange. These hubs act as safer spaces by providing a refuge for individuals, especially those vulnerable to gender-based violence, creating environments where they feel secure, supported, and respected. In this context, community kitchens can serve as ambassador hubs, facilitating dialogue and understanding among diverse groups, breaking down societal barriers, and promoting inclusivity. Moreover, community kitchens become centers for information sharing and networking, serving as catalysts for community development. Participants not only share recipes and cooking techniques but also exchange valuable insights on issues such as health, education, and employment. This collaborative environment builds social capital and strengthens community ties.

Food, as a universal and essential need, serves as a powerful entry point to build trust and dismantle stigma. Through shared meals, individuals connect on a human level, fostering empathy and breaking down preconceived notions. In this way, community kitchens become spaces where participants feel comfortable unpacking shame and addressing the underlying issues contributing to vulnerability, including gender-based violence.

Conversely, the relationship between food and violence is underscored by the adage "a hungry man is an angry man." Food insecurity can exacerbate tensions and contribute to conflict, highlighting the urgency of addressing basic needs to promote peace and stability. By addressing hunger and ensuring access to nutritious meals, community kitchens act as a preventative tool, mitigating the risk of violence stemming from desperation and frustration.

In conclusion, the imperative for robust social support systems has never been clearer, and community kitchens emerge as indispensable contributors to this endeavor. As highlighted in the nexus between gender-based violence and food security, these hubs transcend their culinary functions to become safe havens, ambassadorial spaces, and vibrant networks of information exchange. By fostering inclusivity and trust, community kitchens serve as pillars of resilience in communities, acting as stalwarts in the fight against gender-based violence. Their role in breaking down barriers, providing social support, and addressing the root causes of vulnerability positions them as transformative agents, steering societies toward greater empathy, understanding, and ultimately, lasting change. In the journey to create safer, more equitable communities, the role of food hubs as catalysts for positive social change cannot be overstated.




TMG Research

Food Agency Cape Town (FACT)

Social Change Assistance Trust (SCAT)

Clooney Foundation

Heinrich Boell Foundation South Africa


UNCSW, New York, SA Lower Level

Building Futures: Unraveling the Nexus of Food Security, GBV & Poverty in South Africa

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