Association ESE


   Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women.


Why Gender-Sensitive Social Protection Is Critical to the COVID-19 Response in Low- & Middle-Income Countries

A woman buys food from a vendor in Jodhpur, India. Stockpexel/Shutterstock

The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on movement to control the spread of infection are having profound impacts on the income and daily lives of people in low- and middle-income countries, particularly the poor.. The authors of this article describe how the current crisis is also affecting gender relations, and why attention to gender in implementing expanded social protection programs is critical. They provide specific advice and propose actions to minimize harm during the crisis response period—and to ensure that longer-term gains in gender equity and empowerment can be maintained and built-upon post-crisis.


April 28, 2020 - Many governments are using social protection programs to respond to the economic crisis and health risk induced by COVID-19. As of April 17, 133 countries had adapted or introduced 564 social protection initiatives, according to the World Bank. With the focus on rapid assistance, gender considerations have understandably not been at the forefront of these efforts. A rapid assessment of initial COVID-19 social protection responses indicates that only 11% show some (albeit limited) gender-sensitivity.

This is unsurprising—most existing social protection programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are either gender-blind or neutral at best—but it is worrying. The COVID-19 crisis has the potential to widen gender inequalities, including those related to loss of livelihoodsreproductive health risksdisproportionate burden of care, and violence against women and children. Social protection that does not take gender into account can reinforce these inequalities. 

General guidelines for COVID-19 social protection responses are available, but how can governments address gender inequalities? Designing gender-sensitive programming is not always straightforward, but evidence suggests simple design and implementation adaptations can make programming more gender-sensitive. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, in a new brief summarized below, we provide key lessons, considerations, and guidance across five areas.


Tracking Attitudes on Gender Equality

By Carolina Rivera, Policy Analyst, HDRO

April 2, 2020 - Gender inequalities are rooted in traditional discriminatory social norms and power imbalances that are perpetuated throughout the life cycle and passed from one generation to another. These norms restrict women’s behaviour and the prospects of reaching their full potential at home, at work and in civic life. According to the recent Gender Social Norms Index from the Human Development Report Office of UNDP, nine out of ten people around the globe are biased against gender equality. And attitudes towards equality are becoming less supportive in some countries over time.

Is there bias against equality? Are we seeing a backlash across countries?

While there has been some progress on gender equality in basic areas that support women’s rights, such as enrolment in primary education, participation in the economy or the ability to vote, women have taken to the streets in recent years to voice their continuing social discontent. The #MeToo movement has revealed abuse all around the world, while the #IWillGoOut movement has demanded equal rights for women in public spaces in India. In Latin America, the #NiUnaMenos movement has shed light on femicide and violence against women from Argentina to Mexico. Women’s voices are shouting in unison to demand gender equality.


Half of the Students Out of School Due to COVID-19 Can't Access Online Learning

Nearly 830 million children do not have access to a computer at home, according to UNESCO.

By Leah Rodriguez

April 22, 2020 - The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is making the stark digital divide in education more apparent than ever as children around the world try to learn remotely, new data shows.

The United Nations’ education agency UNESCO released figures from the International Telecommunication Union that were collected by the Teacher Task Force, an international coalition of teachers.

At least 1.5 billion students and 63 million primary and secondary teachers are affected by school closures in the wake of the pandemic in 191 countries. The data revealed that half of all students, nearly 830 million children, who are not currently attending school due to stay-at-home orders, do not have access to a computer. More than 40% do not have internet access at home. 


EU - Ageing Europe: Looking at the Lives of Older People in the EU - Gender

Population ageing is a phenomenon that affects almost every developed country in the world, with both the number and proportion of older people growing across the globe. This transformation is likely to have a considerable impact on most aspects of society and the economy, including housing, healthcare and social protection, labour markets, the demand for goods and services, macroeconomic and fiscal sustainability, family structures and intergenerational ties.

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