COVID-19 Could Condemn Women To Decades of Poverty: Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women’s and Girls’ Economic Justice and Rights

COVID-19 has become an unprecedented and unpredictable global crisis. It is “a defining moment in human history”.  COVID-19 has affected everyone, but not equally so. The pandemic is exploiting and exposing deep structural inequalities in economies, health care systems, and societies around the world, with devastating and disproportionate effects on the most vulnerable people, particularly those who live in development and humanitarian settings. Single mothers working in garment factories have lost their jobs and households’ only income,  while the pandemic is exacerbating other families’ food insecurity.  For those living in areas where conflict has destroyed healthcare facilities, COVID-19 poses a uniquely terrible and acute danger.


CARE has already demonstrated the impact that COVID-19 will have, and already has had, on women and girls.  Now, as the fallout from the pandemic deepens, CARE is drawing attention to the short- and longer-term effects of the crisis on women’s economic wellbeing. Although people of all genders have been affected, women and girls will suffer disproportionately. The economic and financial impacts of public health crises are extremely gendered. Globally, and particularly in development and humanitarian settings, women are more likely to work in informal and/or low-paid jobs—the very jobs that are most prone to disruption during public health emergencies. These jobs frequently lack the legal and social protections that could help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. When considered alongside the gender norms that restrict women’s and girls’ roles in society and their intersectional identities, it is clear that COVID-19 puts decades of progress towards women’s and girls’ economic justice and rights at risk.

  • Countries: Global
  • Published: April 2020

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