Supporting African women through the economic consequences of COVID-19

(WORLD BANK BLOGS) – As COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreads across the globe, the disease is projected to take an immense human toll on Sub-Saharan Africa, infecting at least 110 million people in the region. The immediate economic consequences of the pandemic for African economies are also estimated to be severe, resulting in the first regional recession in nearly 25 years and pushing an estimated 23 million more people into extreme poverty.

In the face of the human and economic crisis caused by COVID-19, existing gender inequalities in economic opportunities may worsen, as was seen in previous large-scale health shocks such as the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic. For example, in Liberia, women experienced worse job losses and remained out of work longer than men, since women worked disproportionately in the hardest-hit sectors. Meanwhile, in Sierra Leone, school closures and curtailed economic opportunitiesled girls to spend more time with men, increasing their likelihood of becoming pregnant and leaving school.

Policymakers working to address the critical health and economic challenges facing the region can draw on evidence from impact evaluations across the continent. A new brief based on research from the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab, provides useful lessons on policy options to build women’s economic resilience.

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About Cholo Brooks 12226 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.