The Disruption of Women’s Rights in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

*By Eunice Musiime

Credit: Al Jazeera

Across the globe, there is increasing evidence of the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls’ rights. Arguably, this has been due to pre-existing structural inequalities that affect preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery of economies. A Covid-19 inspired issue brief by UN Women on ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) noted that alongside increased reports of VAWG, there are greater complexities of violence emerging. The UN Women brief references lessons learnt from the Ebola pandemic that demonstrated that multiple forms of violence are exacerbated within crisis contexts, including trafficking, child marriage, and sexual exploitation and abuse. Thus far, stories from countries that had early experiences of the virus confirm that COVID-19 is set to follow similar trends. The current pandemic and how several governments have responded provide a treasure trove of information on how women’s rights have to be addressed pre- and post-crises.