Unlocking the lockdown: The gendered effects of COVID-19 on achieving the SDGS in Asia and the Pacific
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected women and men differently. Women’s workload at home has multiplied and their economic resources are dwindling, and these, among other factors, have taken toll on their mental health. On the other hand, more men—than women—have died from the pandemic,
Social distancing measures have rendered traditional data collection methods impossible, making it even more difficult to capture the effects of the pandemic. UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and Pacific has turned to innovative solutions to pursue data collection at this critical time.
UN Women rolled out a series of rapid assessment surveys in 11 Asia-Pacific countries with the help of national governments and mobile network operators. The results are now available to guide policy makers in their responses.
This report summarises the gendered effects of COVID-19 on achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific, based on findings from the surveys.
- As a result of COVID-19, women’s economic resources are being hit hardest
- The pandemic is putting food security at risk, as both purchasing and producing food have become harder
- The crisis has disproportionately affected women’s mental and emotional health
- School closures prompted parents to take on more teaching duties, including about ways to prevent infection
- Compromised water sources and social distancing measures have lengthened women’s water and fuel collection times
- Women’s pay has fallen as formal workers see their hours reduced and informal workers lose their jobs
- Social distancing measures reduced women’s access to public transit, but technology could help them cope with the challenges
- COVID-19 prompted new migration flows and highlighted the challenges that women migrants face
- Cities provide economic opportunities for women, but COVID-19 poses health hazards for urban residents
- Women are more vulnerable to shocks, especially those in climate-sensitive sectors such as tourism
- The lockdowns jeopardise women’s safety and institutional responses are inadequate
- Gender data availability is increasing for SDG indicators, but with COVID-19 innovative approaches are needed
This report was originally published on the UN Women website.