West Africa COVID-19 RGA May 2020
As of mid-April 2020, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa is relatively low. That said, there has only been limited testing in Africa, leading many experts to be concerned that Africa could still experience outbreaks on, or beyond, the scale experienced in other regions. Governments are imposing restrictions on movement to reduce the risk of potential outbreaks, and this is directly impacting the ability of humanitarian actors to provide necessary assistance. At the same time, some governments, notably the governments of Mali and Niger, are also expanding their safety nets to help people respond to COVID-19 and its impacts.
CARE’s Rapid Gender Analysis draws from CARE’s deep experience in the region, and from interviews with 266 people across 12 countries. It points to serious ongoing economic, health, and financial impacts that will be especially severe for women. It also paints a mixed picture of impact on women’s rights. Special concern is paid to encroaching limitations to women’s access to resources, as well as to their representation and participation in formal decision-making; increased incidents of gender-based violence. These worrying
observations are accompanied by hopeful examples of women leading the response to the COVID-19 crisis and finding ways to negotiate equitable relationships with men in their communities, as well as with their husbands/male partners at home.