School of Social and Political Science

Edinburgh researcher to give a feminist perspective on the impact of COVID-19 in Africa

Sub head

Dr Rama Salla Dieng at the School of Social and Political Science (SPS) and international collaborators will begin a new project tackling the social, economic and political impact of COVID-19 in Africa with a feminist, intersectional perspective.


The project ‘Feminist Alternatives for (post-)COVID-19 Engagements (FACE) in Africa’ has been awarded funding by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). It will be led by Dr Dieng at SPS’ Centre of African Studies and will contribute to efforts to strengthen the nexus between social sciences and the humanities' responses to COVID-19 in Africa.

She will work with partners at the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA) at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and Laboratoire d’analyse des sociétés et pouvoirs / Afrique-Diasporas (LASPAD) at the University of Gaston Berger, Senegal.

Dr Dieng said: “Recurrent outbreaks of epidemics across the African continent have shown that the consequences are different across generations, gender and income groups. So, what is there to be learned about COVID-19 in particular? This project provides a social sciences and humanities response to the COVID-19 crisis using a feminist intersectional analysis of the pandemic for a more accurate gender-transformative evidence which can influence policy in Africa.

“The project will focus on assessing measures deployed nationally and regionally on the African continent using interdisciplinarity. Our proposal is that there is a need for more inclusive and deliberately feminist policies to build forward better, in a way that allows more fragile individuals and social groups to move out of precarity. We take an intersectional approach to analyse political and socio-economic dynamics and propose that gender-blind approaches to fighting COVID-19 do not work."

Dr Dieng added that the project will consider a range of questions on governance and politics, work, precarity and social provisioning, and the role of feminist solidarities and organising in public engagement and policy influencing. 


Mame Penda Ba, Director of LASPAD – LASPAD at the University of Gaston Berger Senegal

Divine Fuh, Director of HUMA – HUMA at the University of Cape Town

Memory Kachambwa and Mwanahimisi Singano, Director and Director of Programmes, FEMNET – African Women's Development and Communication Network

Implementing partners

The findings of this study will be implemented through the African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), The African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), and other arts collectives such Journal Télévisé Rappé, Njegemaar and Linguere Communications. 

Find out more

Dr Rama Salla Dieng is a Lecturer in African Studies and International Development at SPS. You can read more about research interests on her staff profile.