First Ladies in Africa, Covid-19 and Challenges of Sustainable Food Security: Nigeria as A Case Study
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), fifth objective, calls for gender equality; achieving this will ensure other goals such as Goals 1 (poverty eradication/alleviation), 2 (zero hunger, 3 (healthy lives and promotion of wellbeing for all ages, and 4 (quality education for all) among others. Though not constitutionally established, the office of first ladies is here to stay in Africa, but with some challenges such as lack of direction on the office responsibilities. As a woman, the first lady's role should radiate around quality food affordability, availability and accessibility together with other challenges that impact directly on women. To achieve this, Goals 1, 3 and 4 need to be considered for meaningful sustainable development. Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is hunting the global system with a special focus on Africa needs urgent attention when considering women plights in a patriarchal environment. First Ladies have invaluable roles to play so that food security, an area that women are good at could be achieved. Through Goal 5 of the SDGs, and with the adoption of African feminism both food security and COVID-19 will be addressed holistically. Unfortunately, many first ladies are on the neck of their spouses to be a de facto head of government in the form of a cabinet appointment, contract execution, promotion of an unaccounted annual budget. Through the adoption of African feminism and secondary data perspective, this paper examines some likely roles of the first ladies in the age of COVID-19 and food insecurity.
Keywords: First ladies, Africa, Food security, African feminism, COVID-19, SDGs