Gender Discrimination A Driving Factor Behind Malnutrition In Nepal, Experts Say

“Gender discrimination lies behind much of the malnutrition found in under-five children in Nepal, say locals and experts,” IRIN reports. “Women live hard lives from day one, born with no fanfare, contrasting starkly to the six-day celebration to mark the birth of a boy. Despite the physical demands of a woman’s daily life, boys and husbands eat first and are offered the most nutritious food, often leaving girls and women with leftovers,” the news service writes.

“Girls who are not fed well turn into women who are more likely to give birth to low weight babies, and so the cycle perpetuates,” the news service notes. Sophiya Uprety, a nutritionist for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Kathmandu, “explained that supporting pregnant women with a nutritious and adequate diet, rest and care did more than improve a person’s strength — it bolstered society as well.” According to IRIN, “Early marriage, early childbirth and inadequate spacing of births are additional issues contributing to the low health of people in” Nepal, where stunting and wasting is pervasive (9/22).