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In 2020, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and Women Enabled International (WEI), alongside the U.N Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and eight local and regional organisations working to advance rights for persons with disabilities, partnered to undertake a global study of the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls with disabilities, particularly as related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and their right to be free from gender-based violence (GBV). Through virtual consultations with and written survey responses from over 300 women, girls, men, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities, their advocates, and their support persons from around the world, we have learned that in almost all contexts—Global North and Global South, in places hit hard by CO V I D -19 and others with a much lower rate of infection—women and girls with disabilities have been left behind. They have struggled to meet their basic needs, to access needed health services including those needed both because of their gender and disability, and have faced disproportionate risks of violence.
Ruth Swanwick; Alexander M. Oppong; Yaw N. Offei (et al.)
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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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response