The COVID-19 Outbreak and Gender:
Key Advocacy Points from Asia and the Paciﬁc
Authors/editor(s): GiHA WG
Emerging Gender Impacts
- Exacerbated burdens of unpaid care work on women and girls: Where healthcare systems are stretched by efforts to contain outbreaks, care responsibilities are frequently “downloaded” onto women and girls, who usually bear responsibility for caring for ill family members and the elderly. The closure of schools further exacerbates the burden of unpaid care work on women and girls, who absorb the additional work of caring for children.
- Meeting the needs of women healthcare workers: Women constitute 70 per cent of the workers in the health and social sector globally, and are on the frontlines of the response. Within this sector, an average gender pay gap of 28 per cent exists, which may be exacerbated in times of crises. Women healthcare workers have called attention to their specific needs beyond personal protective equipment, including to meet menstrual hygiene needs. Psychosocial support should also be provided to frontline responders.
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