The social impacts of COVID-19 have important implications to food security and, like many other social and environmental calamities, are not gender or spatially neutral. In many regions across the world, deep-rooted gender norms that devalue women’s unpaid domestic labor burdens also marginalize the health, nutrition, and decision-making power of women and girls.
This post highlights specific gaps in the ability of extension and advisory services (EAS) to address the needs of rural farmers, specifically women, that are increased during emergencies. For example, globally, women report lower access to extension services, as well as information and communication technology devices (radios, cell phones), risk-sharing networks outside of their communities (village savings and loan groups), household power to make decisions, and time to allocate to innovative and adaptive agricultural solutions. In addition, this post addresses the risks that such gender and place-based gaps present to rural food security and social stability, specifically in low- and middle-income countries.