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3 May 2021
Social Reproduction during the Pandemic: Women, Food, Labour and Time in Three African Countries

The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) invites you to a webinar titled: “Social Reproduction during the Pandemic: Women, Food, Labour & Time in Three African Countries”.

Speakers include: 

The webinar will be chaired by Editrudith Lakanga, EMEDO, Tanzania.

Across the continent, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on many fronts including the health sector and the economic sector. Many have also lost their jobs or found themselves with decreased incomes due to both the fear of the virus and the containment measures imposed by governments across the continent. Regardless of job and income losses, however, families have had to be fed and cared for during the entire pandemic. This responsibility has often been left entirely to women who have to devise strategies to undertake these responsibilities in addition to the productive labour activities in which they engage.

The pandemic has meant that those responsible for the social reproduction needs of households, mostly women, have had to do so under varying levels of duress depending on the nature of support they received from external actors in different contexts. Drawing on data from Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa, where state authorities imposed different COVID-19 regulations, and offered different kinds of support for families during the pandemic, this webinar critically assesses how the social reproduction needs of households were met and at what costs. While states have made some efforts to support families during the pandemic, it has not been nearly enough. As was demonstrated during the economic crisis of the 1980s, women bear the brunt of the responsibility for social reproduction in these difficult times.

The webinar will look at these questions:

  • How were children cared for during the long periods of school closures?
  • What did families who relied on the meals provided for children in school do during this period?
  • How did families ensure that children learnt during the period?
  • What did all of this mean for the productive activities of adults in households?
  • How did families mitigate the mobility constraints imposed on them?  What did this mean for their families?
  • How did the quantity and quality of food available to families change over this period?
  • Who was saddled with the responsibility of food provisioning and preparation?
  • How were they able to provide food for their families during this period?
  • To what extent did remittance sources and amounts change during the pandemic? How did this impact on the social reproduction of households?
  • How have people responded to the squeeze on their time and labour, either individually and collectively, to ensure their and others’ social reproduction – and what can be learnt from this?

Tune in on Thursday, 6 May 2021 at:

13:00 South African Standard Time (SAST)/Central African Time (CAT)
12:00 West African Time (WAT)
11:00 Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) (Ghana)
14:00 East African Time (EAT) (Tanzania)

This webinar is co-hosted with the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana; the Environmental Management and Economic Development Organization (EMEDO) Tanzania; and Ardhi University, Tanzania.
 

WATCH THE LIVE STREAM HERE