Agriculture, Gender and COVID-19: Impact and Recovery - Issue No. 195, September 2021

Originally published


As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, its impacts on women’s welfare, food and livelihood security are becoming increasingly clear. The pandemic and its concomitant lockdowns have disrupted livelihoods and value chains in rural and urban areas.

Research by sector experts from organizations like International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), World Bank and Centre for Global Development, highlight the differential impacts of the pandemic on men and women and their ability to cope with these multiple shocks.
For instance, women tend to experience more lingering income shocks and have greater difficulty accessing food than men.

Furthermore, the pandemic is increasing the work burden on women due to school closures and the additional care needs of sick family household members.

This special issue of is titled ‘Agriculture, Gender and COVID19: Impact and Recovery’ and highlights how the food and livelihood security of women (especially those engaged in agriculture and allied livelihoods) have been affected by the pandemic.

This issue draws principally from the research project between IFPRI and Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India, wherein a detailed phone surveys were conducted with women from seven districts of Gujarat to understand the extent of the adverse impact of the pandemic on their lives.

Evidence that has emerged from the field suggests not only are women’s food and livelihood security being affected by the pandemic, their vulnerability to mental health problems and gender-based violence has also increased. The insights highlighted in this issue can help decision makers to mitigate some of the negative impacts of the pandemic on women by designing and implementing appropriate policies and programs