Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious, sometimes severe, respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The COVID-19 pandemic deepened pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political and economic systems which in turn amplified the impacts of the pandemic. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 were exacerbated for women and girls.
Compounded economic impacts were felt especially by women and girls who are generally earning less, saving less, holding insecure jobs or living close to poverty. The health of women generally was adversely impacted through the reallocation of resources and priorities, including sexual and reproductive health services. Unpaid care work increased with children out-of-school, heightened care needs of older persons, and overwhelmed health services. Gender-based violence also increased, with many women forced to ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers at the same time that services to support survivors are being disrupted or made inaccessible.