The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women in the Informal Economy: The Case of Malawi

This report presents an analysis of the status of women in the informal economy in Malawi and how they have been affected by the corona virus pandemic. Humanitarian crises are not gender neutral. Disasters affect people differently - women, girls, boys and men, have different capacities, strengths, needs and vulnerabilities; each of which can impact how an individual and the wider community are impacted, as well as how they will react, respond and recover to the disaster. What is the status of women in the Malawi informal economy in Malawi? What are the challenges women in the Malawi informal sector are facing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the available response mechanisms, i.e. national laws, policies and programmes and what opportunities do this present for women in the Malawi informal economy? Most importantly how relevant and significant are these mechanisms in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This informs a set of pragmatic policy recommendations for addressing the plight of women in the informal economy in Malawi in the COVID-19 context.