Women in Asia and the Pacific are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19

Bottom Line :

United Nations surveys demonstrate women in Asia and the Pacific are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.


UN Women. Surveys show that COVID-19 has gendered effects in Asia and the Pacific. [Internet]. 2020 April 29. Available from: https://data.unwomen.org/resources/surveys-show-covid-19-has-gendered-effects-asia-and-pacific

Note: this is not a peer-reviewed article.

Date Published:

29 April 2020


Two weeks after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the United Nations Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific distributed surveys to millions of people to capture the gendered consequences in this region. Preliminary results are available for Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines. Key themes emerging from the surveys are as follows: 

  1. Fewer women than men are receiving necessary information to prepare for COVID-19
  2. Women’s mental and emotional health is disproportionately impacted
  3. Women face greater barriers to medical care
  4. Women are less likely to be covered by health insurance
  5. Women are seeing larger reductions to their working hours than men
  6. COVID-19 has increased the burden of unpaid care and domestic work for women
  7. Women’s resources are being hit hardest

It will be imperative to continue monitoring the disproportionate burden of COVID-19, and build a post-pandemic society that addresses these inequities.

Summary by: Maria Leis