Girls are being served food in school. Meal support given by feeding India.
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Feeding India | March 8, 2024 | 3 min(s) read
Inclusive Investment in Women’s Health: Empowering Progress and Accelerating Change

In the global discourse on healthcare, one crucial aspect often takes center stage: women’s health. From adolescence to adulthood and through pregnancy and menopause, women’s health is a multifaceted journey that requires attention and care at every stage of life. The holistic health of women plays a pivotal role in shaping families, communities, and societies at large. While there is ongoing discourse and conversations regarding addressing women’s health, especially malnourishment, the progress has been slow. 

Although malnutrition affects all genders, women and girls, have been disproportionately affected the most. Globally, nearly 49 million girls (aged 10-19 years) and 154 million women (aged 20-49 years) are underweight, while 571 million girls and women (aged 15-49 years) have anemia (WEF 2023). The domino effect of poor nutrition especially for maternal women increases the risk of infections, stillbirth, newborn death, and preterm delivery (Figure 1). Further, children of malnourished women are susceptible to ‘face cognitive impairments, short stature, lower resistance to infections, and a higher risk of disease and death throughout their lives’ (Eder & Ranson 2003). With nearly 50% of India’s population being women, improving their nutrition is critical for India’s economic growth (PIB 2020, PIB 2011). 

FIGURE 1  : The  impact of poor nutrition throughout a women’s life cycle (Eder, L, & Ranson, E 2003)

The magnitude of malnutrition’s impact on women and girls is high. Recognising this, investing in women’s health could bridge the women’s health gap and accelerate progress, ‘adding years to life and life to years’ (WEF & McKinsey Health Institute 2024). Further, It could lead to a 1.7% increase in per capita GDP and boost the global economy by $1 trillion annually by 2040. With every $1 invested in these efforts, it could potentially unlock $3 in economic growth (WEF 2024;  WEF & McKinsey Health Institute 2024)

The Government of India has launched numerous programmes and schemes targeted towards women and girls, such as Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) strategy, and the POSHAN Abhiyaan, among others (PIB 2022). To complement the efforts of the Government of India, Feeding India has been working on building the capacity of Anganwadi workers to monitor severe acute malnutrition (SAM), and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) among children, provision of supplements at Anganwadi Centers and offering mid-day meals to non-profit schools catering to marginalized children.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us remember the critical role that access to nutritious meals plays in empowering girls. Through our Daily Feeding Program, NGOs have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of girls in need. Our meal support can help ensure that every  girl has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to a brighter future for themselves and their communities. 

Make a difference by applying for our meal support grant here


  1. World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023,  Malnutrition in women and girls has soared 25% in crisis-hit countries, WEF, viewed 06 March 2024
  2. Eder, L, & Ranson, E 2003,  Nutrition of Women and Adolescents Girls : Why it Matters, PRB
  3. Press Information Bureau (PIB) 2020, Malnutrition among Women , Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD)
  4. Press Information Bureau (PIB) 2011, Country’s Population Reaches 1210 Million as Per Census 2011 , Ministry of Home Affairs
  5. World Economic Forum (WEF) & McKinsey Health Institute 2024, Closing the Women’s Health Gap: A $1 Trillion Opportunity to Improve Lives and Economies,  viewed 05 March 2024
  6. World Economic Forum (WEF) 2024, New Global Alliance for Women’s Health Could Help Boost Global Economy by $1 Trillion Annually by 2040 ,WEF, viewed 06 March 2024
  7. Press Information Bureau (PIB) 2022, Initiatives to Tackle Anaemia in Pregnant Women , Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Authors: Disha Kouli and Glaison Cherian

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