COVID-19 Requires a Gender Response

Furaha-Joy Sekai Saungweme

Regional Coordinator, Africa End Sexual Harassment Initiative (AESHI)


Events of a catastrophic nature whether they be public health outbreaks, civil conflict, or economic instability are often experienced by women in a manner which is very uniquely linked to gender constructs. For this reason and in response to the global pandemic, the African Union’s Women, Gender and Development (WGDD) [i] produced guidelines intended to work in partnership with COVID-19 interventions which are tailored to meet the needs of women. The UN Human Rights’ East Africa Regional Office also partnered with the African Union Commission’s Gender Directorate to produce Seven Possible Actions- Women’s Rights and COVID-19 which is described as a ‘tool that States and civil society actors can use to monitor whether Governments are meeting their obligations and duties under international human rights law.’