COVID-19 pandemic

UNFPA supplies arrive in the Huanggang Hubei Province credit: UNFPA China

COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is straining public health systems, triggering unprecedented measures by governments around the world, including movement restrictions and shelter-in-place orders. Evidence from prior outbreaks shows that this crisis could exact a massive toll on women and girls. Women are disproportionally represented in the health and social services sectors, increasing their risk of exposure to the disease. Stress, limited mobility and livelihood disruptions also increase women’s and girls’ vulnerability to gender-based violence and exploitation. And if health systems redirect resources away from sexual and reproductive health services, women’s access to family planning, antenatal care and other critical services could suffer.

UNFPA is on the ground, distributing personal protective equipment for health workers and supporting health systems where needed. UNFPA is also supporting efforts to learn more about the virus and its impact to better serve the most vulnerable. “While fear and uncertainty are natural responses to the coronavirus, we must be guided by facts and solid information,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA’s Executive Director. “We must stand together in solidarity, fight stigma and discrimination, and ensure that people get the information and services they need.”

Related content

News
UNFPA has been forced to suspend the provision of reproductive health care in 140 out of 180 health facilities.
News
Menstruation is misunderstood and stigmatized around the world, a fact likely to worsen under the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are ten things you need to know about periods and the pandemic – and what the world needs to do about it.
News
Hundreds of thousands of women are living with obstetric fistula – a traumatic birth injury. And it could be worsening.

Pages