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How Women and Girls are Faring With COVID-19 In Africa

Updated: May 22

The global pandemic is exacerbating existing gender inequities throughout the continent.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director of Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, says, "We are already seeing that the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls is profound. Women are disproportionately affected by lockdowns, and this is resulting in reduced access to health services."

Women are also suffering in other ways in the pandemic, as gender-based violence has increased worldwide. The World Health Organization of Africa, WHO Africa, has noted that "A recent study by UN Women found that reports of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, have increased in several countries."

It's a Women’s Thing

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's director for Gender, Poverty, and Social Policy, Thokozile Ruzvidzo, said, "Domestic violence rates are rising, with COVID-19 lockdowns keeping families at home together; for longer periods and women unable to leave an unsafe situation."

Additionally, 65 percent of nurses in Africa are female. Women also make up most health facility service staff, such as laundry and catering, which further increases their exposure to the virus.

Women all across Africa are struggling during this time. According to the UN's ECA, a $100 billion stimulus is needed, as Africa will lose 19 million jobs throughout the pandemic.

In the spirit of sisterhood, several women across Africa are band