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This publication compiles and analyses the results of Rapid Gender Assessment surveys (RGAs) on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in 45 countries, produced by UN Women in partnership with national statistical offices, governmental entities, international partners, or private sector. The report confirmed uneven pandemic impacts for women on five key areas of concern: 1) participation in the workforce; 2) unpaid care and domestic work; 3) emotional and physical well-being; 4) access to goods and services; and 5) relief and social protection measures. The report also draws on the findings from the UNDP-UN Women Gender Response Tracker, which provides information on how countries are integrating gender equality in their policy responses. Country cases on how the RGA results have been used to inform critical gender-responsive policies and recovery plans to build back better are also provided in the report.
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.
Chamaiporn Siangyen; Caterina Grasso; Reylynne Dela Paz (et al.)
The 2021 Asia-Pacific Girls Report is Plan International’s annual research report concerning girls in the Asia-Pacific region. It is part of our contribution towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, committed to equitable and inclusive development for girls and young women. This report highlights both the civic engagement activities of young female activists in the Asia-Pacific and the unique challenges girls and young women face throughout the region. As part of this research, Plan International conducted interviews with sector-based experts and young female activists to assess the current situation in the region. Plan International developed and updated the Asia and Pacific Girls’ Leadership Indexes to measure the opportunities of adolescent girls and young women to develop and demonstrate their leadership capabilities, their unique voice in the region, the gaining of support for their choices and collective and individual power.
Senait Fisseha; Gita Sen; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Henrietta H. Fore (et al.)
Right now, there are 650 million child brides living in every region
of the world. Child marriage is a fundamental violation of human rights,
which severely impacts the global economy, peace and security, as well
as hampering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Progress has been made over the last decade, but 2020 saw the
greatest surge in child marriage rates in 25 years. Global projections
of girls married by 2030 have shot up from 100 million to 110 million,
as an additional 10 million girls will now be married due to the effects
of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to anecdotal data from our
programmes, between March-December 2020, child marriages more-than
doubled in many communities compared to 2019.This report compiles research and data from four unique contexts –
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Senegal and Uganda – where World Vision has
been working to address the issue of child marriage. In each of these
countries, case studies were developed using first-hand accounts of
promising practices towards eliminating child marriage.
Catherine Porter; Alula Pankhurst; Kath Ford
This report is the result of a multi-sectoral needs assessment exercise focusing on the rights and needs of adolescents living in the Anglophone territories of North West South West (NWSW) Cameroon. Conducted under extremely challenging circumstances, the assessment used innovative methods pioneered by Plan International to capture the voices of adolescent girls and young women, alongside adolescent boys, young men and their parents and caregivers. It spoke directly to adolescent girls themselves, in particular adolescent girls who are mothers, pregnant, or married, whose ideas, and needs, are often ignored. The NWSW regions of Cameroon have been engulfed in crisis since late 2016, yet this conflict, and its impacts on adolescents, have received limited attention from the international community. This report, which gives adolescents the space to voice their concerns and priorities can be used to engage with states, donors and other humanitarian actors on this neglected crisis and highlight what needs to be done to address adolescents’ needs, rights and aspirations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an existing learning crisis in Sierra Leone, and has disrupted the learning of over 2.4 million children across the country. The most marginalised and deprived children, including girls, children from poor households, and children from rural areas, already had limited access to good quality education prior to the pandemic, and are now at an increased risk of being left behind, and not returning to school at all. Save the Children are calling on the Government of Sierra Leone to commit to realising the right to quality education for all children by ensuring that all children are able to return to school safely, and that long-term, systemic issues with the education system damaging the quality of learning are acted on to ensure that all children are able to access good quality education.
Globally, as more people are at home than ever, due to pandemic-related measures and lockdowns, the need for household chores and child care has multiplied. But who is shouldering these increased burdens, and by how much have they increased? To answer this question, UN Women has been gathering new and eye-opening data.
Drawing on the ‘build back better’ principle, this brief contributes to policy dialogues and discussions on how we can plan for and work towards more equal, gender-responsive school systems once restrictions are lifted. This policy brief builds on the content of an intergenerational dialogue that is representative of the wider youth network that each advocate represents. The dialogue focused on the gendered impacts of school closures and youth-led, innovative responses that are being undertaken in different contexts. It also explored some policy measures and actions aimed at governments, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to promote girls’ return to school. This brief contributes to policy dialogues and discussions on how we can transform our education systems to work better for girls. The intergenerational dialogue on which this policy brief is based discussed the existing inequalities that have been exacerbated through the pandemic, with a focus on the gender digital divide. The brief also outlines concrete actions to rebuild a ‘new normal’ in education post COVID-19, alongside visions for more gender equal, inclusive education systems. The recommendations are aimed at governments, policymakers, funders and other key stakeholders in the gender and education space.
COVID-19 unprecedented disruption to education has the potential to roll
back substantial gains made on girls’ education in recent decades, with
broader immediate and longer-term effects on the achievement of the
Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty
reduction, health and well-being, inclusive quality education and gender
equality. The guide, developed by the Malala Fund, Plan International, UNESCO,
UNGEI and UNICEF, aims to help policymakers and practitioners in
ministries of education and their partners address the gender dimensions
of the pandemic-related school closures. It provides targeted
recommendations to ensure continuity of learning while schools are
closed, and to establish comprehensive, timely and evidence-based plans
for reopening schools in a way that is safe, gender-responsive and
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 violence against children and women during COVID-19.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
Subscribe to updates on new research about COVID-19 & children
COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response