There is no way Africa can face this food crisis without empowering rural women, in particular rural women’s associations, in the response to COVID.
The fragility of African health systems is revealing itself and women and children are most vulnerable to the lack of attention and adequate specialized services the diversion COVID 19 is causing.
A Call to Bold Action: Dismantling Structural Barriers and Nurturing a Culture of Innovation
As decision makers respond to the economic and health impacts of the pandemic:
All Responses Must Take into Account Gendered Impacts of COVID and Be Informed by the Voices of Women: Women and women’s organizations should be at the heart of the COVID-19 response decision making and designing health and socio-economic policies and plans.
Government and Development Partners Must Implement Gender Lens Economic Policies and Sharpen the Capacity of Women as Engines of Economic Growth: Give women and female businesses direct access credit, loans, tax and social security payment deferrals and exemptions, and preferential procurement.
Invest in Women Along the Local Food Chains to Improve Food Security: Response resources should target female SMMEs and rural women associations to increase productivity in both formal and informal economies, eradicate hunger and malnutrition.