A New Scourge to Afghan Women: COVID-19

Authored by: Oxfam

Categories: Global Public Health
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Economic Participation, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Country: Afghanistan
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2020
Citation: “A New Scourge to Afghan Women: COVID-19.” Oxfam, April 2020.

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Executive Summary

Women and girls worldwide are disproportionately affected by war, conflict, social issues and health crises compared to men. This is especially true for Afghan women who are more burdened by decades of conflict, food insecurity, and economic inequality. Patriarchal norms limit their movement, access to basic rights such as education and health, control over resources, decisions affecting their lives and the right to live free from violence. COVID-19 is proving to be no different and is exacerbating the inequalities Afghan women face.

Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that actors responding to the COVID 19 outbreak adapt their responses and policies to the various implications this outbreak has specifically for women. To support the above, and to ensure that the voices of Afghan women are heard by decision-makers, Oxfam in Afghanistan carried out a set of structured qualitative interviews amongst female beneficiaries, women’s rights activists, civil society actors and government representatives.