CGIAR Gender News

Youth or young mothers? The paradox of transitions in the rural women’s lives

This year's theme for the International Day of Rural Women is "Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19". On this occasion, we have asked CGIAR centers and programs to describe how their research is supporting rural women during times of crises. This post, by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), is one in series of responses.

2020 is a unique year, we have spent most of it ‘surprised’ by the turn of events. In early 2020, we found ourselves in a global health pandemic. We started by learning that we couldn’t travel from one country to another. At first, we thought it will be a few weeks, maybe a few months of disruption, but this has persisted for most of the year 2020. The virus, first reported in China travelled the world, impacting sectors of the national and international economy as well as social processes (no large gatherings like attending schools, colleges, sport events, weddings, funerals in person) and even changing long held traditions like hugging and hand shaking. The year has gone by, we have worked from home, social distanced, worn face masks, maintained research and development collaborations online through amazing innovations on ‘meeting apps’ and now, its October 2020, and our attention is drawn to the UN International Day of Rural Women.

On this day, we focus on rural women and girls building resilience in the face of two great stresses: COVID-19 and climate change.