Report on Women in Agriculture in Timor-Leste
State of Emergency and COVID impacts
This report presents findings on the impact of COVID-19 and the associated State of Emergency from March – June 2020 on women in agriculture in Timor-Leste. The findings were gathered form interviews with 266 vulnerable women in agriculture and agribusiness from six municipalities in Timor-Leste: Ermera, Dili, Liquica, Aileu, Baucau, and Manatuto. Participants included women with disabilities, widowed women and older women.
The assessment’s key findings are that:
• Women’s financial security has been affected by COVID-19: Before the State of Emergency, 66.2% of informants earned less than USD50 a month. During the State of Emergency, this group increased to 97.7%.
• Women experienced limited access to markets during the State of Emergency: 75.2% of informants had difficulty accessing the market, of which 21.4% cited lack of transportation as the main reason.
• Early warning signs of food insecurity were evident. The percentage of informants who con-sumed 3 meals a day dropped by 33.1 during the State of Emergency, while the percentage of informants who consumed only 1 and 2 meals a day increased by 15.8% and 42.5 percent respectively.
This report concludes with four policy recommendations that will enhance COVID-19 prevention and response, and reduce gender inequalities in Timor-Leste:
• Share more and better gender disaggre-gated data.
• Put gender as a central issue for policy preparedness, response, and implemen-tation.
• Target access to information and WASH services to women.
• Build women’s economic resilience in Timor-Leste by investing better in the agriculture sector.