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The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage was designed as a 15-year programme (2016-2030) to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 5.3, which aims to eliminate all harmful practices, including child marriage. The COVID-19 pandemic hit at the very beginning of Phase II (2020-2023) of the Global Programme, and we know that it profoundly affected the everyday lives of girls, including their physical and mental health, education, and the economic circumstances of their families and communities. Up to 10 million more girls are estimated to becoming child brides by 2030, as a result of the pandemic. UNFPA and UNICEF Evaluation Offices conducted a joint assessment of the Global Programme adaptations to the COVID-19 crisis in 2021.
Merike Blofield; Felicia M. Knaul; Renzo Calderón-Anyosa (et al.)
Gender Based Violence (GBV) is a global pandemic existing in all social groups across the globe, yet it has largely been ignored in the COVID-19 response and recovery plans. It is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified GBV, including domestic violence and intimate partner violence amongst other forms of violations, but the investments in GBV prevention and response are dramatically inadequate, with just 0.0002% of the overall COVID-19 response funding opportunities going into it. Barriers to achieving gender justice, such as harmful social norms, continue to exist, but progress made since the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign show that there are solutions, and feminist activism has been a driving force for progress on eliminating gender-based violence.
Luis Armando Parra; Rory Patrick O’Brien; Sheree Michelle Schrager (et al.)
Every child deserves to reach her or his full potential wherever they live. Yet, achieving positive child well-being outcomes remains a challenge globally. COVID-19 has further exacerbated children’s existing vulnerabilities and amplified inequalities, especially in fragile contexts. As part of its mandate to help the most vulnerable children achieve their full potential, World Vision focuses on child well-being programmes that aim to improve key child well-being outcomes. Ten years of conflict in Syria have aggravated gender inequalities and the risks of violence for women and girls inside and outside the country. To increase the focus on gender-responsive programmes that respond to the strategic needs of women, World Vision (WV) Syria Response conducted a piece of research that aimed to better understand the connection between Syrian mothers’ and children’s well-being and identify impactful approaches that effectively address both. Specifically, the research explored women’s empowerment and children’s well-being factors in Syria and selected host countries. It looked at how women’s socio-demographic factors and empowerment components influence physical, emotional, mental, and psycho-social child well-being. A cross-sectional observation methodology was developed using convenience sampling in Northwest Syria (NWS) and Government of Syria (GoS) areas, Jordan, and Turkey. The research targeted World Vision’s beneficiary children living in structured families and their mothers. The survey results were complemented key informant interviews (KIIs) with mothers and their children.
Sneh Gautama; Shamsunnahar Setu; Mohd Golam Quader Khan (et al.)
Kate Shaw; Tendai Chigavazira; Tamara Tutnjevic
How COVID-19's impact on hunger and education is forcing children into marriage. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most experts estimated child marriage would continue for many more decades. Because the pandemic has increased poverty levels and hunger, and decreased access to education, the risk of girls becoming child brides is also increasing. This report pairs data from World Vision’s Youth Healthy Behaviour Survey with global literature to better understand the conditions which enable child marriage and how these conditions may be changing because of the global pandemic. The report analyzes 14,964 observations from children and youth aged 12 to 18 from World Vision programming sites in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, and Zimbabwe. Case studies also provide insights into the lives of girls within these communities.
Abiola Awofeso; Lotus McDougal; Y-Ling Chi (et al.)
In an updated review of how the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting women’s and girls’ health in low- and middle-income contexts, this study examined 247 studies between January and March 2021 (peer-reviewed papers, pre-prints, and working papers that met specific search terms, and contained empirical analyses and findings). This collection of evidence largely reinforces previous findings that in many areas, women are bearing the greatest burdens of the crisis. Evidence continues to mount that there has been disruption of access to and utilization of maternal health services and contraceptive services, disproportionately worse mental health for women versus men, as well as worsened mental health for pregnant women during the pandemic. This review also identifies new research indicating mixed evidence on COVID-19- related knowledge and behaviors and COVID-19 morbidity and mortality by gender. Gaps remain on several health issues (e.g., non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases other than HIV). Existing research also focuses primarily on describing and quantifying the burden of these gendered health impacts, rather than sharing effective mitigation strategies.
Elizabeth Presler-Marshall; Bassam Abu Hamad; Sally Youssef (et al.)
Palestine refugees, of whom there are nearly 6 million, primarily live in the countries surrounding the land that is now recognised by most UN member states as the State of Palestine. Palestine refugees are largely excluded from labour markets, due to blockades and national laws, and subsequently have high rates of poverty. Most depend on services and support delivered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and its governmental and non-governmental partners for survival. Palestinian adolescents, whether they live in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, in Jordan or in Lebanon, face myriad threats to their well-being. These include age- and gender-based violence and exploitation in the home, at school and in the community. With the world’s attention elsewhere, however, most of those threats remain largely invisible. This report draws on data collected by the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) research programme to begin addressing evidence gaps and exploring the protection risks facing Palestinian adolescents.
This brief summarizes the key findings of the assessment of the availability of data that could contribute to an understanding of the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and would be the basis for gender-responsive, evidencebased policy making in Uzbekistan. The assessment was conducted in December 2020 with the support of the UN Women Europe and Central Asia Regional Office in partnership with UNDP Uzbekistan. The focus of the assessment was on data and statistics compiled and disseminated by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Statistics (SSC) and on recent assessments and studies related to the impact of COVID-19 that have been conducted by different United Nations (UN) organizations and development partners.
Stela Maria Tavolieri de Oliveira; Ewerton Alexandre Galdeano; Evelynne Maria Gomes Galvão da Trindade (et al.)
Anita Ghimire; Sharmila Mainali; Fiona Samuels (et al.)
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.
The second digest discussed children and violence during the pandemic.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response
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