Social distancing, face masks, restriction of movements have become the new order as a response to COVID 19 which is a global emergency that has brought the world to worrisome state. Beyond the public, there are other pressing issues of livelihood- survival as the access to food becomes limited. In a governance process as is in Nigeria and several other African countries where poverty is already a challenge for both women and men, increased feminization of poverty is considered an expected consequence. From the reports gathered from our mentees in the Ending Violence against Women and Girls EVAWG, the feminization of poverty is coupled with reversal of roles as more women who ordinarily earn monthly salaries have now turned themselves up for menial jobs to earn food or money to sustain their families. .
An EVAWG mentee from Cross River State reported a case of a primary School female teacher who went job scouting at a restaurant to earn food or money to feed her family. Although there was no vacancy to fill, her pitiful look attracted the owner of the restaurant who supported her with food which she returned home with to feed her family. Aside this kind of case, the restriction of movement to curb the spread of the COVID 19 has led to increase in the cost of food items and other immediate needs.
From an accountability perspective, NWTF has observed that the non-disaggregation of data in all cases of COVID 19 both nationally and internationally. Although the situation is tense and an emergency one, the impact on women needs to be adequately analysed. For example, in Nigeria, some governors have tested positive, what about their wives other family members like the children? What is their state? Are they receiving adequate attention as well?
The donations from groups and individuals have been quite encouraging, the mainstreaming of gender into its use and disbursement will make the total curbing of the spread a reality in Nigeria and elswhere. This necessary attention is needed because just like women victims and survivors are not been reported, the impact of the funds is most likely to be assumed to be reaching women when in actual fact, they have been left out.