Implications of COVID-19 to Women's Livelihoods and Tenure Rights

The impact of COVID-19 on women’s livelihood, food and tenure security: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

Paper author: 
Oxfam & International Land Coalition - Africa
Paper publication date: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

COVID-19 has made it difficult for the women to connect and mobilize support for securing land, jointly having their voices in tracking and implementation of land-related laws and contributing to land policy debates. Consequently, the pandemic has derailed one way women land rights activists have succeeded to introduce women’s issues in strategic development agendas like the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa that have been achieved through encouraging lively debates in public spheres and forums. land rights. And as land defenders are rendered unable to effectively respond to these issues due to the restrictions put in place, the number of abuses targeted at women land defenders continue to rise.

There is a call in the communities that African governments should have a strategic plan on how the communities should be engaged on post-COVID-19 agenda and to ensure women’s economic empowerment is inclusive in the discussion especially women’s land rights. They must also treat women’s rights defenders as essential workers and issue them permits and facilitated to monitor land development in their localities during this pandemic. Governments COVID-19 responses too must be gender responsive, with specific intervention and support to rural women farmers to access farm supplies and sell their products in a safe environment.