COVID-19: latest news and resources on child marriage and COVID-19

Resources to help during COVID-19: Economic impact

Girl takes part in a workshop with Garífuna and Indigenous children and adolescents in Livingston, Guatemala. Photo by Priscilla Mora Flores/Colectivo Nómada/Girls Not Brides

We know that girls and women – particularly amongst the poorest and socially marginalised groups – will likely be most affected by the pandemic. Increases in the (unpaid) burden of care, gender-based violence, adolescent pregnancy and school dropout during lockdown, coupled with the higher proportion of female workers in the informal sector, make girls and women more vulnerable to economic shocks.

We need to work together as a partnership to make sure that girls at risk of child marriage and married girls don’t get left behind during the response to – and recovery from – the pandemic. That’s why we’re compiling regular roundups of resources that may be useful to Girls Not Brides member organisations at this difficult time. These are linked in this series of blogs, and a selection can also be found in our Resource Centre.

This week, we focus on COVID-19 and its economic impact, particularly on girls and women. The resources linked below can be used to promote gender-sensitive financing and avoid the diversion of funds away from women and girls towards frontline responses. The resources on social protection measures and cash voucher assistance will be useful to humanitarian and development practitioners working in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ economic justice and rights, CARE International

This brief summarises the economic impact of the crisis on women and girls. It makes the economic case for investing in gender equality – women’s equal participation in the economy could add US$28 trillion to global GDP – and urges policymakers to drive a new model for equitable growth.

Gender dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic, World Bank

This policy note summarises key ways in which the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting girls and women differently. It tracks these different impacts across three areas: endowments, economic conditions and agency, and includes a section on the socio-economic impact on child marriage.

The impact of COVID-19 on women, UN Women

This brief outlines how gender and other inequalities predate – and are exacerbated by – the pandemic. It identifies three priorities in achieving greater equality: women’s equal representation in planning and decision making; addressing the unpaid and paid care economy; and using a gendered approach to fiscal stimulus packages and social assistance programmes. It also gives practical proposals to support women’s economic recovery and agency, including the use of mobile banking for cash transfers, targeting pre-existing social protection schemes and extending them to informal workers, increasing support for organisations with experience in microfinance, and a gendered assessment of all national COVID-19 economic recovery plans.

Direct and indirect impacts of the coronavirus in developing countries, Akina Mama Wa Afrika, FEMNET and GADN

This paper examines some of the key macroeconomic challenges exposed by the pandemic. Its analysis draws on the experiences of Southern women’s rights organisations to recommend that the UK Government include a gender analysis at the heart of its coronavirus response in the Global South. The paper addresses women’s leadership, authoritarian measures, unpaid and underpaid care work, precarious work and social protection, violence against women and girls, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Social protection responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries: Strengthening resilience by building universal social protection, ILO

This brief examines the role of social protection measures in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak in developing countries. It calls on policymakers to design emergency responses that strengthen social protection systems and decent work, including by removing financial barriers to quality health care, enhancing income security, reaching out to workers in the informal economy, and protecting incomes and jobs. Available in English, French and Spanish.

Cash voucher assistance in COVID-19 contexts: Guidance from the Cash Learning Partnership, CaLP

Cash vouchers and transfers can make a huge difference in times of crisis. The CaLP has therefore created this dedicated page for practical resources, guidelines and conversations to support the most vulnerable during the pandemic. The guidance helps organisations understand and prepare for the impacts of COVID-19 on their work, consider whether cash voucher assistance is right for their operational context and – if so – how to ensure safe and effective delivery.

COVID-19: A chance to empower citizens through social protection, CaLP/World Vision International

This brief highlights the need for social accountability mechanisms (citizen feedback to government) to inform the design and delivery of cash transfer programming and ensure that support gets to those who need it most.