A first look at gendered impacts of COVID-19 on livelihoods

Authored by: Renée Hunter, Mishkah Abrahams, and Lelethu Bodlani

Categories: Global Public Health
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Economic Participation, Human Development
Country: Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2020
Citation: Hunter, Renée, Mishkah Abrahams, and Lelethu Bodlani. “A First Look at Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 on Livelihoods.” insight2impact, May 2020.

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Executive Summary

Data from China suggests that men are more likely to die from COVID-19 than women, but the global circumstances of women (e.g. more vulnerable economic positions than men, taking on more unpaid care work) and experiences from previous pandemics (such as Ebola) tell us that the economic fall-out and subsequent recovery are likely to hit women harder than men. But how hard exactly? And what are the most pertinent areas in which we risk leaving women behind?

As we work to make sense of our current crisis and develop policies to plan for the futuredata gaps are clearly a hindranceIn all fairness, collecting and reporting any data in the type of real-time fashion that is critical right now is a challenge and already makes a big difference. However, failing to consider this data in a sex-disaggregated manner puts us at a significant disadvantage. Whether were designing policy, putting together support packages or drawing up plans and products for the post-crisis new normal, considering the data in a gender-neutral manner means were flying blind. 

This is where the collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated data on the impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods come in. The insight2impact facility has launched an innovative mobile survey to track the impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods. The initial wave of data was published on the COVID-19 Tracker website in the first week of May 2020 and will be updated with subsequent waves over the next 10 weeks. In this article and the attached reports, the authors take a first look at the sex-disaggregated headline insights for Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.