In the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, women prepared meals for over 2,400 households in 10 rural villages through the Covindia action research programme.

© Covindia Project

Covid-19, women take the lead

In India, Senegal and Brazil, women in lockdown are involved in solidarity initiatives. Preparing and distributing meals, transporting medicines to the most vulnerable, making and donating masks, they mobilized throughout the health crisis by managing to adapt to the restriction measures.

During the year 2020, IRD researchers and their partners documented women's initiatives in the Global South. Their common points ? They are based on existing associative structures and have used the internet and social networks to communicate and adapt to containment.

Thus, in South India, women members of Self Help Groups in ten villages in Tamil Nadu benefited from an action research project carried out by members of the research programme of the Observatory of rural dynamics and inequalities in Tamil Nadu (ODRIIS, IRD-Institut français de Pondichéry). These women received humanitarian aid and were able to prepare meals for a fortnight for more than 2,400 of the households most affected by the crisis. 

A short filmPassword : COVINDIA was made about this project.

In Senegal, community mediators HIV transported antiretroviral drugs to housebound patients. Their action, which prevented the interruption of treatment, was recognised by the national authorities. Finally, in Brazil, the members of the AMESOL association, cooks and craftswomen, have set up a new work organisation using social networks. They were able to make, sell and also donate masks in large quantities.

IRD le Mag' gives a voice to these women and to the researchers who have documented their actions.