Consultation for the development of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition

FAO Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

The “Consultation for the development of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition” has already received interesting contributions. Below you can read short summaries of these comments.

This online consultation invites you to share your views on the Zero Draft of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition.

It is part of a consultative process that also includes six regional consultations of which the first one, the CFS Gender Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean, took place this week. Below you will find a note from the facilitators of this online consultation, in which they provide a short overview of this regional event.

Please visit the FSN Forum website to read the introduction to the online consultation and the discussion questions in English, Español, Français, Русский, 中文 or  العربية, and to post your contribution in any of these six languages.

There is also an ongoing “Call for sharing experiences and good practices in the use and application of the CFS-RAI”, which is also facilitated by the CFS Secretariat.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact FSN at

The FSN Forum Team look forward to receiving your precious feedback!

TO PARTICIPATE – send your contribution to or post it on


The CFS Gender Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean took place on 21-22 September. The Consultation was very well attended with close to 100 participants from countries of the region participating in the event at any time and more following the webcast. All constituent groups contributed to the plenary discussions: representatives from governments, UN System, civil society, research institutions, private sector and others, sharing precious information on challenges and potential solutions. This was the first one of a series of six consultations planned to take place in September-November 2021.

The objective of the CFS regional consultations is to align the future CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in the Context of Food Security and Nutrition with national and regional priorities and needs. The main background document for the consultation, the Zero Draft of the Guidelines, was presented by Ms Tanja Grén (Finland) and Mr Tomas Duncan (Panama), Co-Chairs appointed by the CFS Bureau to facilitate the policy convergence process.

H.E. Ms Beatriz Argimon, Vice President of Uruguay, delivered the first keynote. She was congratulated for tirelessly championing the rights of rural women, including the rights to food and nutrition. Mr Berdegué, Regional Representative of FAO for Latin America and the Caribbean delivered a keynote on behalf of FAO, IFAD and WFP, sharing impressive statistics on the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty and food security and nutrition. Finally, Ms Maria Noel Vaeza, UN Women’s Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean, stressed the fact that empowering women and girls was an effective way of improving nutrition, not only of women but of all members of their family. The three keynote speakers underlined the importance of the CFS future Guidelines and their support to their implementation once agreed by CFS in October 2022.


Srikanthi Bodapati

Nutrition and Public Health Specialist, India

Srikanthi comments on section 3.8 of the Zero Draft, “Women and men’s ability to make strategic choices for healthy diets and good nutrition”, and suggests including some additional aspects in the section’s problem statement. She discusses, for instance, how broader social factors can deprive women and young girls of education and nutrition, referring to forced early marriage and influence of family members on women’s and girls’ reproductive health choices.

Read the full contribution

Asikaralu Okafor

Maklumy Technology Services Limited, Nigeria

Asikaralu provides feedback on section 3.2 of the Zero Draft: “Elimination of violence and discrimination against women for improved food security and nutrition”. She refers to the situation in Nigeria, where women experience psychological and economic violence due to patriarchy. Women often do not have full ownership of farmland or are not allowed to use the profits they earn for personal needs. With regard to section 3.3, “Access to education, capacity building, training, knowledge and information services”, Asikaralu argues that child/early marriage is an age-long tradition that falls outside the sphere of influence of civilization and religion.

Read the full contribution

Atika Marouf

Seed Development Project funded by IFAD, Sudan

Atika points to the need for nutrition awareness raising programs and training on income generation activities for women.

Read the full contribution

Santosh Kumar Mishra

Population Education Resource Centre, Department of Lifelong Learning and Extension (Previously known as: Department of Continuing and Adult Education and Extension Work), S. N. D. T. Women’s University, Mumbai (Retired: on June 30, 2020), India

Santosh proposes to include the aspect of “family life education” (FLE) in Part 2 of the Zero Draft. He discusses what FLE should look like in practice, pointing out that it should be provided to both boys and girls, and that it should cover the following broad subject areas: 1) negotiation skills; 2) communication skills, and 3) values for healthy and responsible living. The aim of FLE would be to equip boys and girls with the skills needed for taking right and rational decisions in all relevant matters throughout life. Based on his professional experience, Santosh argues that the traditional tools to support women’s empowerment that are suggested by policy makers often do not have the desired outcome, and that FLE could promote the needed changes.                   

Read the full contribution

Violet Chanza Black

World Food Programme, Cameroon

According to Violet, the Guidelines should feature a more comprehensive discussion on including women and girls in the development of climate change adaptation skills, with a particular focus on digital technologies. In this context, one should take into account existing gender gaps in terms of skills, and access to information and training.

Read the full contribution


IAEA: Nutrition and health-related environmental studies newsletter

The 14th Newsletter of the Nutritional & Health-related Environmental Studies Section of The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) is now available. 

In this issue you can read a special article from Rachel Marklew of the IUNS Task Force ICONIC on their international work to advance collaborative engagement in nutrition, physical activity, and cancer.

Other news includes updates on research projects, virtual meetings, conferences and webinars, reports, and new tools, as well as some inspiring success stories and latest IAEA news.


International Union of Nutritional Sciences offers scholarships to support scholars who otherwise would not be able to attend academic conferences, including the online ISNN Congress 2021.

About the Congress

The ISNN 2021 Congress takes place on September 25-28 as a virtual conference.

The 2021 ISNN Congress will focus on cutting edge research on human metabolism and on the interaction of the human genome with the metabolome, on human chemosensing and its interactions with the genome, and on the nutrigenetics of salt sensitivity. Numerous nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers will present. Nutrition researchers, clinicians, dietitians, and other health care providers from the region and from around the world are expected to attend. These are the leaders in the development and practice of advanced nutrition solutions. The Congress organizers look forward to welcoming you to exciting discussions in ever more relevant areas of nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, metabolome, and precision nutrition.

About the ISNN Scholarships

If you are applying for a scholarship, do not register for the virtual meeting until you receive notice of the status of your scholarship application.  The conference scholarships will cover registration costs.

Individuals eligible for a scholarship are:

• Early career professionals with a degree in nutrition & food or life sciences that are interest in acquiring new insights regarding nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics.

Please note the following:

• The scholarship includes a waiver for the conference fee only and it does not include membership dues.
• ISNN Membership is not a condition.

• Priority will be given to young (under the age of 40) first-time conference attendees and individuals who study/work in non-affluent regions and/or countries that have been historically underrepresented at prior ISNN conferences, particularly those from developing regions as specified by the United Nations.


The applications should be accompanied by a cover letter presenting your academic/training and career experience as well as your current resume.

The required documents should be submitted at the following email address: .

Application deadline: September 10, 2021.
A panel of Scientific Committee members will review and make decisions about the applications.

News and Bursary Opportunities South Africa: National Science and Technology Forum

The latest newsletter of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) of South Africa is available. The May 2021 edition features opportunities including the Inqola FEED (Food Equity, Equality & Democracy) Innovation Prize. The I Prize seeks to highlight internet-based ideas and solutions that have the potential to create meaningful impact on the food system in South Africa.

The 2022-2023 Fulbright Foreign Student Program is still open for applications. Fulbright is a competitive scholarship program that offers South African citizens and permanent residents the opportunity to complete a Master’s or Doctoral degree at any accredited tertiary institution in the United States.

Health and Nutrition news includes the study by WITS University into the sales of sugar sweetened beverages decline after SA introduces Health Promotion Levy.

About NSTF
The NSTF, established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery. For more information about any of these articles and more, their May 2021 newsletter is available here: Newsletters (

Nutrition and Aging: New Training Course from Fundación Iberoamericana de Nutrición (FINUT) 

FINUT has created a new course addressing nutrition, aging, and disease in older adults. The course is delivered in Spanish and is aimed at both early career nutritionists and professionals in Geriatrics wishing to gain nutrition training.

Together with the University of Antioquia (Colombia), which enjoys prestige in the area of public health research, FINUT have built this course in which the student will acquire knowledge about the process of nutrition and diseases in older adults, as well as aging and nutrition. :

 – Web for information and registration:

  • Tutors with degrees of professors and doctors, researchers, and experts knowledgeable in each topic.
  • Who is this course for?
  • Spanish speakers
  • Professionals in the field of Geriatrics who wish to be trained in Food and Nutrition. Graduates, graduates, and students of third year or more in Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Biology, Biochemistry, Food Science and Technology, Chemistry, Physical Activity, and Sports Sciences, as well as graduates related to Biomedical and Health Sciences.

  • Price (includes certificate). Possibility to pay in 2 installments
    • Standard fee: 402,50 Euros
    • FINUT students or UdeA graduates: 362,25 Euros. Includes students who did undergraduate studies at UdeA or were students of some of FINUT’s online courses.
    • Fee for members of entities with an agreement with Udea or FINUT: 350 Euros.
    • Fee for students: 322 Euros.
Find out more
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism – IUNS News

The IUNS and one of our long-standing collaborative partners, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have recently enhanced the scope of our collaboration. Cornelia Loechl, Head of the Nutritional and Health-Related Environmental Studies Section of IAEA and IUNS Secretary General, Catherine Geissler co-authored a report on these discussions for the IUNS News featured in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, April 2020 edition (Ann Nutr Metab 2020;76:441–442), available now on the Annals website.

Read More

The European Association for the Study of Obesity- Newsletter

The EASO (European Association for the Study of Obesity) newsletter is available. Read about upcoming conferences, their Advocating on Obesity Online Workshop Series, and EU projects focused on Protein and Sweeteners and Sweetness enhancers.

Read More
Schoolgirl in Haiti receiving WFP meal. Photo: WFP/Antoine Vallas

School Feeding Coalition Formation: A Game Changing Effort

The number of children living in households that are struggling to put food on the table has doubled during the pandemic, approximately “38 million children were acutely hungry in 2019 and the pandemic could push this further… taking the total to 74 million”. Under the coordination of UN Nutrition, a coalition on school feeding is being formed in 2021 to address these challenges, in the context of the Food Systems Summit and key education sector discussions such as the Global Education Forum, Global Education Summit.

The IUNS International Malnutrition Task Force has been actively involved the early stages of the formation of this coalition. An update is available to provide information on the evolution of the coalition formation and provides information for those interested in joining the coalition.

Date Changes 22nd IUNS-ICN 2022, TOKYO

Important dates have been updated!

Due to the postponement to December 6-11, 2022, the important dates have been changed as follows.

Abstract Submission: November 12, 2021 – March 18, 2022
Abstract Acceptance: Notice June 10, 2022
Presenter Registration: Deadline July 15, 2022


Early Bird June 6, 2022 – August 4, 2022
Regular August 5, 2022 – October 20, 2022
Late October 21, 2022 – November 21, 2022
Onsite December 6, 2022 – December 11, 2022

The website and social media have been changed as follows
Home Page

Nutrition and Cancer TF- Virtual Dialogues Series Starts April 12th 2021

ICONIC (International Collaboration on Nutrition in relation to Cancer), the IUNS Task Force, are pleased to announce that they will be hosting a series of Virtual Dialogues over the next year in collaboration with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to address key questions in nutrition and cancer through online expert presentations and panel discussions.

The first Special Focus Dialogue takes place on April 12th 2021, on the topic “Nutrition and cancer in children, teens and young adults: current understanding and future opportunities”.

The event will provide a chance to connect, exchange knowledge in this area, access expert insights, and identify research priorities moving forward. There are plans to host further dialogues later in the year.

More information and registration details are available here. Regular updates on all the Dialogues will be on Twitter (@iuns_iconic).