Rapid gender assessment of the situation and needs of women in the context of COVID-19

Authored by: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Categories: Global Public Health
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Economic Participation, Human Development, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Country: Ukraine
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 2020
Citation: “Rapid Gender Assessment of the Situation and Needs of Women in the Context of COVID-19.” United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, May 2020.

Access the Resource:

Executive Summary

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related restrictive measures exposes all groups of women to higher risks of losing incomes and savings, it significantly increases the burden of unpaid care work, exposes women and children to domestic violence and exacerbates vulnerabilities of those facing multiple forms of discrimination.

The study demonstrates that women who, in general, have limited opportunities to make savings due to the existing gender pay gap and gender discrimination at labour market are particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic and more likely than men will have to save on essential services if COVID-19 related restrictive measures continue.  The survey also reveals that quarantine exacerbates the problem of gender stereotypes and patriarchal social norms on the women’s and men’s roles in the family, as the significant burden of unpaid domestic and care work during the quarantine rests on women. Women working from home have to balance paid work, household chores, and caring for children who stay at home due to quarantine provisions in educational institutions. The lack of advanced forms of remote learning for schoolchildren during the quarantine causes an excessive continual burden on parents and, most of all, on mothers. The situation is particularly acute for women from vulnerable groups, who face extra health and financial risks.

The study identifies several positive examples of addressing the needs of vulnerable population in some oblasts; However, most of the decisions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine do not fully take into account international and national obligations of Ukraine on gender equality and human rights. This leads to disproportional effect of restriction measures to vulnerable women.

The study provides recommendations for the national, regional, and local authorities, as well as civil society and development partners, on the required measures to address needs of vulnerable women and girls, as well as ensure their equal rights and support recovery and resilience to crisis caused by global pandemic.