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Ukuvula Isango: women's empowerment and post-pandemic reconstruction in rural South Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to control it have threatened livelihoods, introduced new workplace risks and made unstable work relationships even more precarious, especially for women. This project will address key issues related to these impacts in rural areas in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic as a starting point for post-COVID-19 rebuilding. The research team will document and explore women’s lives before and during the pandemic to identify trends and triggers that elevate or decrease their livelihoods and health statuses. In the second phase, the project will use this analysis to explore strategies to enhance prevention in both the health and livelihood spheres.

The project will generate locally sustainable strategies for future external shocks, such as pandemics, that are women-managed and are less dependent on the state and the biomedical system. Further, innovative approaches will be developed by co-producing solutions by local women and other stakeholders that will “rebuild better” public health and livelihood strategies.

This project is funded under Women’s health and economic empowerment for a COVID-19 Recovery that is Inclusive, Sustainable and Equitable (Women RISE), an initiative of IDRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Its aim is to support global, action-oriented, gender-transformative research by teams of researchers from low- and middle-income countries and Canada

Project ID
Project Status
24 months
IDRC Officer
Qamar Mahmood
Total Funding
CA$ 883,598.00
South Africa
Global Health
Global Health
Women RISE
Institution Country
The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning/McGill University
Institution Country
South Africa
Human Sciences Research Council ZA