During COVID-19, the role of women has been and still is essential. They have been on the frontline in the agriculture sector but also in processing and distribution professions. Yet, this role came with a high exposure to risks and infection.
In many countries, specific measures have been taken to support informal workers who did not have access to the “standard” social protection systems. However, a significant proportion of women working in the informal economy remained excluded from welfare schemes and financial compensation during lockdown. In rural areas, women have less access to essential services and during times of emergency this access to services is often more compromised.
Additionally, many seasonal workers, including women, have not been able to travel to Europe to work in agricultural holdings and farms, with foreseeable negative consequences for family remittances.
Existing inequalities are often exacerbated during pandemics and crises. For that, COVID-19 threatens the livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable populations. A rise in poverty will have an impact on the food and nutritional security of families, particularly on women and girls who have already present nutritional vulnerabilities.
- How has COVID-19 impacted women in agriculture and what measures should be promoted to address the gendered impact of COVID-19 in rural Mediterranean areas with reference to agriculture, food security and nutrition?
- Which alliances/networks could better serve a gender responsive agenda in post COVID-19 recovery?
- How can education, training and research in agri-food fields better help to limit the negative impacts of crises like COVID-19 on women?