A new book called “Women Redefining the Experience of Food Insecurity: Life Off the Edge of the Table” will soon be released by Lexington Books. We were able to get a sneak peak at Chapter 11, titled “Labor and Leadership: Women in U.S. Community Food Organizing” and correspond with authors Christine Porter and LaDonna Redmond about their work. Their chapter is of particular interest to Women, Land, and Legacy participants as it focuses on the role of women in the US food movement.
The authors write, “Women appear to do their share, or more, in work to create a more just food system. With no official movement “membership,” it is impossible to count, but experience and anecdote indicate that women predominate in US community food movement action. If women are doing their half or more of this food movement, then men are getting much more than their share of the credit for and voice in that work. While representation in leadership is only one measure of gender equity in the movement, it is an important one.”
However, there is encouraging news: In a non scientific survey of food system listserve members, the authors asked respondents to list up to six national food system leaders. Of the 55 people who were mentioned by at least two respondents, half are women. However, males clustered at the top of the list. On the flip side, women fared better when respondents were asked to name influential leaders in their community’s food work. “Overall, 60% of the people named as local leaders were identified as female. That is nearly the inverse of the national leader list.”
Stay tuned. Once the chapter is officially published, we will share more.
Read much more of the chapter here: excerpt Porter Redmond Gender Labor Lead US Food Movement