STEFANIE GLINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Issue No: 5/2021

COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor – 10 March 2021

During the COVID-19 crisis ACCORD's analysis will be focused on the impact of the pandemic on conflict and resilience in Africa.

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ACCORD COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
References: AfricaCDC, ACLED and African Arguments

This week ACCORD’s Monitor celebrates International Women’s Day! Our feature piece is by Madam Graça Machel, a longstanding global women and children champion, and the chair of ACCORD’s Board of Trustees. Calling us to action, Madam Machel stresses that there is no time to waste! As she reflects on how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our mission for gender equality and exposed some of the shortcomings in our struggle for a fairer and more equitable world, Madam Machel asserts that women have to be at the core of COVID-19 responses.

Turning our focus to insights from a sub-regional perspective, Kapinga Yvette Ngandu, the Commissioner for for the Promotion of Gender, Human and Social Development at the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), draws our attention to how female leadership has emerged in the sub region, and claims that women scientists in this sub-region hold the upper hand in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article shares commitments for a way forward and opportunities to enhance the role of women in the COVID-19 response in the ECCAS region. Indeed, the contribution reminds us that the best prepared health systems in the world themselves seem relatively powerless in the face of the pandemic.

Taking it to a granular level, Riya William Yuyada, in her perspective from South Sudan, brings out the often contested tensions of what comes first – peace before women’s rights or women’s rights before peace. She argues that women in South Sudan cannot wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to end before continuing their work for women’s rights and peace. 

While we try to adapt to the new COVID-19 world, women’s economic empowerment has to be front and centre of any responses for meaningful change. What does Africa’s latest Pan-African development programme: The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) offer women and in this time of a health pandemic?  Thokozile Ruzvidzo and Nadira Bayat from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) turn our attention to the AfCFTA and empowering women for an equal AfCFTA.  Drawing our attention to the fact that benefits will not be automatic, the article offers insights into the window of opportunity and harnessing the ecosystem of partners, including African governments and policymakers, private sector, civil society and development partners, to work together to support economic empowerment interventions identified in AfCFTA national policy processes.  

Lastly, ACCORD’s Pravina Makan-Lakha and Molly Hamilton reflect on the one hundred and eleventh International Women’s Day and ask if achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world is possible? In this article, we are reminded that it has been a century and a decade since the first International Women’s Day, yet gender inequality and women’s socio-economic empowerment remain unfinished business. Is there an opportunity in the COVID-19 crisis?

Special Guest Editor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Managing Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor
Chief Editor: COVID-19 Conflict & Resilience Monitor​
Jonathan Bundu/Trócaire
Jonathan Bundu/Trócaire
graca
Features, Trust between Citizens & Institutions

No time to waste: Women must be at the core of the COVID-19 responses

  • Graça Machel

Tomorrow, 11 March 2021, marks a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic. A year ago, the world as we know it and our daily routines were disrupted to an unprecedented extent overnight. In an effort to curb the spread, governments across the world put in place lockdowns, quarantine measures, stay-in-place orders, closed workplaces and education institutions. Almost immediately, it became very clear that although the pandemic was a great equalizer in the sense that no one was immune to the virus, it was also a great destabilizer of many socio-economic and development trajectories and social justice agenda, least of all:  our mission for gender equality. In many ways, the pandemic has exposed so many of our shortcomings in our quest for a fairer and more equitable world. 

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Photo: @anyaivanova
Photo: @anyaivanova
Trust between Citizens & Institutions

The Contribution of Women Scientists from Central Africa in the fight against COVID-19

  • Kapinga Yvette Ngandu

The celebration of the International Day of Girls and Women in Science, on 11 February 2021, as well as the International Day of the Rights of Women on 8 March 2021 gave me the opportunity to pay a resounding tribute to and reflect on the many contributions of women scientists from Central Africa in the fight against COVID -19, which are largely unrecognised. Since the start of 2020, the world has been confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is wreaking havoc among the populations of the entire world. While Africa and our sub-region in particular remains relatively less affected than other parts of the world, its effects remain to be feared, especially since the best prepared health systems in the world seem relatively powerless in the face of the pandemic.

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Photo: Enhanced Integrated Framework
Photo: Enhanced Integrated Framework
Livelihood Insecurity & Economic Impact

International Women’s Day 2021: Empowering Women for an equal AfCFTA

  • Thokozile Ruzvidzo
  • Nadira Bayat

This week, on the 8 March, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. For African women, the commemoration carries particular significance. This year, it coincides with the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – a uniquely Pan-African programme that enables African countries to pursue socio-economic development and peace and security. 

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BULLEN CHOL/AFP via Getty Images
BULLEN CHOL/AFP via Getty Images
Domestic & Gender Based Violence

In South Sudan, Women’s Rights cannot wait for COVID-19 or Peace

  • Riya William Yuyada

This women’s month, we should celebrate all the girls and women who remain resilient and continue to fight for their rights and the rights of others, despite all the challenges that we faced before and now with the COVID-19 pandemic. Around May 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was becoming more and more serious, a group of women, including women’s rights activists and some men took to the streets in Juba to demand justice for an 8-year-old victim of rape. Prior to the protest, as we organised and mobilised, we were advised to stop and forget about the protest. We were told that a gathering would be considered as political and also against the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. This did not stop us from going ahead with our protest because rape is war on a girl’s or woman’s body and that is political too!

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ABDIRAZAK HUSSEIN FARAH/AFP via Getty Images
ABDIRAZAK HUSSEIN FARAH/AFP via Getty Images
Pravina Makan-Lakha
Stigmatisation and discrimination

From Crisis to Opportunity – Is Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World Possible?

  • Molly Hamilton
  • Pravina Makan-Lakha

On Monday, 8 March, we celebrated the one hundred and eleventh International Women’s Day. For one hundred and eleven years, we have dedicated the 8th of March to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and sending out a call to action for accelerating gender equality. A century and a decade since the first International Women’s Day, yet gender inequality and women’s socio-economic empowerment remain unfinished business.

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ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.

ACCORD recognizes its longstanding partnerships with the European Union, and the Governments of Canada, Finland, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.

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