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This technical brief highlights the emerging evidence on the impacts of COVID-19 on fertility. It provides a historical overview on fertility in times of crises, data on reproductive behaviour during COVID-19 in countries throughout Europe and North America, as well as new data from four UNFPA programme countries. The technical brief highlights the crucial importance of classifying sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services as “essential services” during the pandemic, and underscores the responsibility of governments to assure that all persons can exercise their reproductive rights, even during a global pandemic. Lastly, the brief warns not to resort to population alarmism in response to short-term changes in fertility caused by COVID-19, but to ensure the provision of SRH services at all times.
Camilla Landini; Shadia Elshiwy
The health, social, political and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are disproportionately affecting girls and women by exacerbating existing systemic gender inequalities at all levels, with potential implications for the incidence of child marriage. This brief describes how the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage has adapted its interventions to ensure we continue to reach and protect girls at risk of child marriage and already married girls during the pandemic.
Disease outbreaks affect women and men differently, and pandemics make existing inequalities for women and girls and discrimination of other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities and those in extreme poverty, worse. This needs to be considered, given the different impacts surrounding detection and access to treatment for women and men. Women represent 70 percent of the health and social sector workforce globally and special attention should be given to how their work environment may expose them to discrimination, as well as thinking about their sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial needs as frontline health workers.
UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.
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