Gender, Famine and the Female Mortality Advantage

During times of famine, sex, gender and age differences matter. These factors impact who dies, who lives, and how people suffer; they shape lives and livelihoods before, during and after crises. But precisely how and why these factors intersect with famine conditions is an issue of much debate. This Paper investigates the evidence and explanations for sex, gender and age differences across 25 famines, analyzing: the cause of death, biological factors, health outcomes for famine survivors, in situ coping strategies, and migration patterns. It takes into account the potential long-term gender and age health and socio-cultural risks associated with exposure to mass starvation. It concludes by addressing implications for protection and accountability.

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