African Women Take Brunt of Food Crisis

As prices soar, mothers feed the men and eat what remains
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2008 5:06 AM CDT
As prices soar, African women are feeling the worst of the continent's hunger crisis.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – As food and fuel prices continue to climb, impoverished families across Africa are hurting worse than ever—and women are suffering the most. The Washington Post follows one Burkina Faso mother in her daily struggle to feed her family and survive in a culture that puts her last at mealtime. "When there is less food, women are the first to eat less," said one human rights advocate.

Fanta Lingani, who estimates her age at 50, sweeps city streets for a meager wage of $10 per month—barely enough to fix a daily meal of corn mush, bitter tree leaves, dried fish and wood ashes for her family. The cost of such staples has doubled, and none of her sons have steady work. But they come home hungry. "When the children ask for food, we have to give it to them," she said. "We're mothers."