The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world. As of July 1, 2020, 10,487,022 cases and 511,546 have been recorded in 216 countries. This Rapid Gender Analysis gathers together data from its country offices in the Middle East and North Africa region and beyond (Turkey and Georgia are also included), offering a sobering picture of the pandemic’s impact, especially for women and girls.
MENA is at a critical stage in containing the pandemic – while some countries have been successful in curtailing the spread by utilizing stringent lockdown measures, other more fragile and conflict-affected countries are seeing spikes in the number of people infected. Widespread conflict, displacement, and migration in the region significantly complicate a managed response to COVID-19, and extreme water scarcity makes preventative measures even more challenging.
Women and girls in MENA, already facing discrimination, now face additional barriers to education, mobility, access to financing and assets, and participation in the labor force and official decision-making as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Women and girls are experiencing regression in the informal labor market, elevated levels of violence and harassment, and increased care-taking burdens for out-of-school children, and sick and elderly family members.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.