The iconic cry we all recognize from any sinking ship movie, right before some pig-headed guy pushes through the crowd and jumps aboard, right? Well, the guy in our story doesn’t play the role of baddie, he’s really more of an extra.
You see, whether you like it or not, women are the ones who generally cook the food in the developing world, and the poor kids are just along for the ride. Gender inequality is a global phenomenon, but in many places it manifests in more extreme ways than pay gaps and glass ceilings.
On average, 684,000 people die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease each year. 75% of them are women. 800,000 children die each year from pneumonia linked to cooking smoke. This is the kind of inequality we are talking about, the kind that has fatal consequences for the women and children caught up in it.
But there is hope on the horizon. Women bear the brunt of this inequality, but they are the crucial key in the fight to transform the kitchen into a safer place. Earlier we talked about change agents, and it just so happens that women make the perfect change agents in the world of clean cooking. They are the ones who suffer, they are the ones who cook. They are the ones who understand the issues, because they are at the center of the problem. They also understand how to speak to other cooks and help them understand why things have to change, and to educate them on how to change.
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