By G9ija

The African First Ladies Peace Mission has called for more support for rural women, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic and insurgency had taken a heavy toll on their livelihoods.

The mission, an umbrella forum of wives of African heads of states, noted that the pandemic has brought to the fore, the need for the socio-economic empowerment of the rural women.

This was contained in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday, by the Special Assistant to the President on African First Ladies Peace Mission, Dr Mairo Al-Makura, on the occasion of the 2020 International Day of Rural Women themed, ‘Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19.’

The mission equally solicited global support for African governments in their efforts to end insurgency on the continent, noting that terrorism had taken tolls on the welfare and livelihoods of the rural communities, especially women, girls, and children.

It stated, “Insurgency leaves the farms fallow and underutilised as even those not yet displaced are scared to venture into the farmlands. So, this is a problem the world must make haste to address more aggressively.”

On the occasion of the 2020 International Day for Rural Women, the African First Ladies Peace Mission saluted the resilience of the African rural women.

It added, “Despite being seriously disadvantaged in access to land, agricultural assets and credits, education, market, and despite the yawning gender pay gap, African rural women and girls have continued to showcase their resilience in the sustenance of their families and provision of care during this challenging period.”

“The AFLPM believes that the continent can build back better from the rubbles of the pandemic by strengthening rural women’s sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing. Therefore, AFLPM calls on African governments to give more support to our rural women and girls to continue to contribute more to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience”, the statement read.

On the challenges posed by insurgency and conflicts to rural women and livelihoods, AFLPM enjoined the world to rally behind Africa to overcome the challenge of insurgency, which it said has gravely affected the rural women and their livelihoods.