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The COVID-19 Outbreak and Gender: Key Advocacy Points from Asia and the Pacific

Gender in Humanitarian Action Working Group

2020

Asia Pacific

Tool Kit

Gender equality Gender norms Gender stereotypes Influencing gender norms gender covid-19 gendered impact

The COVID-19 Outbreak and Gender: Key Advocacy Points from Asia and the Pacific

The COVID-19 Outbreak and Gender: Key Advocacy Points from Asia and the Pacific

Prepared by the Gender in Humanitarian Action Working Group, this document outlines emerging gender impacts in Asia and the Pacific amidst COVID-19, as well as recommendations on how to respond to such impacts.

Highlights

  • Care responsibilities are frequently “downloaded” onto women and girls, who usually bear responsibility for caring for ill family members and the elderly.
  • Within the health and social sector, an average gender pay gap of 28% exists,3 which may be exacerbated in times of crises.
  • Increasing food insecurity as a result of the crises may place women at heightened risk, for example, of intimate partner and other forms of domestic violence due to heightened tensions in the household.
  • Crises pose a serious threat to women’s engagement in economic activities, especially in informal sectors, and can increase gender gaps in livelihoods.
  • Efforts to contain outbreaks often divert resources from routine health services including pre- and post-natal health care and contraceptives and exacerbate often already limited access to sexual and reproductive health services.
  • Despite women constituting a majority of frontline healthcare workers, placing them in prime positions to identify trends at the local level, they continue to form only small minorities in national and global health leadership.
  • Data related to outbreaks and the implementation of the emergency response must be disaggregated by sex, age, and disability and analysed accordingly.
  • Country strategic plans for preparedness and response must be grounded in strong gender analysis, taking into account gendered roles, responsibilities, and dynamics.

 

This document was originally published on the UN Women website.

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