Home Economics can truly help to reduce poverty and improve health of families all over the world!

As regular readers will know I’m a keen member of the International Federation for Home Economics, it’s currently their Congress in Australia, and unfortunately due to being very busy at home in London I can’t attend.  I thought this would be of interest 

Untitled-1This was the main outcome of the Round Table Discussion of the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE). 93 participants joined the Round Table Discussions to the theme “Home Economics and United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): A Global Perspective” at the XXII. IFHE World Congress in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, 17th July 2012.

Excellent Home Economics experts from all IFHE Regions gave informed speeches at the Round Table Discussion.
The main focuses of their presentations were the Eradication of Poverty and Hunger, Health, Gender and Sustainability.

The session was chaired by Prof. Dr. Geraldene B. HODELIN, IFHE President (2008 – 2012) University of Technology, Jamaica in the Americas. In her introduction she highlighted the current status of the achievements made by the UN MDGs and the challenges for the future after 2015 as published by the UN.

In her presentation Prof. Dr. Anke NIEHOF from Wageningen University, Netherlands, Europe focussed on Poverty, Hunger and Inequality: achievements and challenges. She pointed out that youth unemployment and a growing ageing population in the northern hemisphere contributes to poverty. The young unemployed generation in all continents without any perspective of a job and income could end up in social insecurity, and instability.

Dr. Sidiga WASHI, Ahfad University for Women, Sudan presented on the context of Gender Equality, Health and Poverty from an African perspective. “Gender equality is one of the main reasons for hunger, poverty and child mortality”, Prof. WASHI summarised.

Why should health and wellbeing be a focus of the UN MDGs after 2015 from a Home Economics perspective?” This was the theme of the presentation of Vulori SARAI, Assistant Lecturer, School of Education, the University of the South Pacific. She explained the significance of a healthy nutrition in the first 1.000 days of a baby’s life. She indicated that healthy nutrition of the pregnant women and the first two years of the life of the baby are critical. Not only the physical and mental developments of children will be influenced through healthy nutrition in the first years of life, but also the psychological stability during the whole life.

Prof. Dr. Midori OTAKE, the President of Japan Association for Home Economics, Japan, Asia gave a speech about “Home Economics and Sustainability: the relevance to follow-up the aims of the UN MDGs after 2015”. She pointed out that the development of educational material that teach how to move out of poverty is important to all countries. Students should be able to realise that poverty could happen to anyone.

The discussions of the presentations touched different aspects related to the professional fields of the participants. As a résumé the audience of the Round Table agreed that Home Economists around the world will advocate for families to demand a follow up process of the UN MDGs after 2015. They support the view that the post 2015 period should focus on gender equality as well as continue the quest to reduce hunger and poverty especially in Africa.

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