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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global emergency of multiple dimensions. There is now major concern that COVID-19 and its impact will push back fragile progress on gender equality, including slowing progress in reversing discriminatory laws, the enactment of new laws, the implementation of existing legislation and broader progress needed to achieving justice for all. This rapid assessment examines how the impacts of COVID-19 are threatening women’s ability to access justice. It examines the impacts of COVID-19, policy responses as well as outlines policy recommendations for the period ahead. Using a gender lens, the report documents major threats to women’s lives and livelihoods associated with COVID-19 – namely, curtailed access to justice institutions, rising intimate partner violence (IPV), threats to women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, growing injustice for workers, discriminatory laws and lack of legal identity, as well as repercussions on forcibly displaced women and those deprived of their liberty.
Gender-based violence (GBV) increases during every type of emergency – whether economic crises, conflict or disease outbreaks. Pre-existing toxic social norms and gender inequalities, economic and social stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, have led to an exponential increase in GBV. Many women and girls are in ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers while being cut off from normal support services.This briefing note provides concrete actions and strategies that UNDP, UN agencies and other development partners can take to prevent and address GBV in the context of COVID-19. It includes recommendations for adapting dedicated GBV services and support to the crisis context, and for mainstreaming GBV prevention and response in 'non-GBV specific' interventions.
Lucia Fry; Philippa Lei; Naomi Nyamweya (et al.)
This report uses insights from the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic and the 2008 global financial crisis to understand the short- and long-term consequences of COVID-19 for girls. Following the Ebola outbreak and school closures in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, enrolment rates for girls dropped. Increased rates of poverty, household responsibilities, child labour and teenage pregnancy as well as restrictive school policies prevented many girls from returning to the classroom. The epidemic also reduced funding for education as governments diverted funds to public health and put a strain on the preexisting teacher shortage. Girls' education and COVID-19 suggests how governments and international institutions can mitigate the effects of the current pandemic and help girls return to school, including finding ways to keep girls learning during the pandemic, factoring in gender when planning for reopening schools and making sure that education systems have adequate financing in the post-crisis months and years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented situation whereby schooling has been disrupted for almost 1.6 billion children and youth as governments enforce total or partial closures of schools in efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Higher education institutions have also suspended classes. As of late April, UNESCO estimates that 91% of those enrolled in formal education programmes have been affected. The closure of schools, universities, technical and vocational training institutes has also affected refugee learners and students. In these challenging times, displaced and refugee students are at a particular disadvantage and there is a risk that progress in increased enrolment may be eroded. The suspension of school feeding programmes could affect the nutrition and health status of refugee children and youth. Lessons drawn from other pandemic responses that included extended school closures have shown that girls are less likely to return to school and are at greater risk of falling behind1. As many governments move to at-home learning modalities, many refugees are disadvantaged as they experience uneven access to distance education and online learning opportunities and hardware, and do not have access to support services such as language classes.
It is a living document that draws upon the knowledge and experience of a wide range of experts who support solutions to end violence against women and girls, attentive to the country context in which the crisis is occurring.
Everjoy Mahuku; Kalkidan Lakew Yihun; Karl Deering (et al.)
Women and men, girls and boys, urban and rural populations in East, Central and Southern Africa are being impacted by the
COVID-19 pandemic. Immediate impacts at the time of this research center around reduced income and
access to basic needs due to government lockdowns, changing gender roles in households, and increased
gender-based violence. The COVID-19 pandemic in East, Central and Southern Africa is currently exacerbating socio-economic
issues, with women bearing the largest burden of caring for their families while also seeking to lead
communities in prevention and adaptation. Gender-based inequality is extensive in the region.
Women are at a higher risk for exposure to infection
due to the fact that they are often the primary caregivers
in the family and constitute most of frontline healthcare
responders. Women and girls are at increased risk of violence
during the COVID-19 period. Further, women are more likely to lose income as many
are in the informal sector.
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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