Exploring experiences of food insecurity, stigma, social exclusion, and shame among women in high-income countries: A narrative review
Keywords:household food insecurity, women's experiences, stigma, shame, shame resilience
In Canada, over 4.4 million people experience food insecurity, a serious public health issue characterized by inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. Globally, women experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity, which can be a highly stigmatizing experience that is associated with feelings of shame and social isolation. This narrative review explores how and why social beliefs and stigma contribute to social exclusion among women experiencing food insecurity within high-income countries, and how enhancing the capacity for empathetic responses to feelings of shame, and efforts to strengthen women’s resilience to shame, can lead to a reduction in stigma. The thematic analysis of the articles included in this review resulted in four themes: 1) the mechanisms of food insecurity-related social exclusion; 2) charitable responses to food insecurity and stigma, shame, and social exclusion; 3) women’s experiences with food insecurity, stigma, shame, and social exclusion; and 4) empathy and shame resilience. The findings of this review suggest that dominant responses to food insecurity contribute to stigma, shame, and social exclusion among women, and that the inadequacy of existing policy responses to address food insecurity has wide-reaching ramifications on the health and well-being of women and their families.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Chloe Pineau, Patricia L Williams, Jennifer Brady, Madeleine Waddington, Lesley Frank
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