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

Resources to help you navigate your work during COVID-19

We don’t yet know how long the pandemic will last, or what the long-term impact will be. We do know that 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.

The COVID-19 pandemic is already having a devastating effect on families, communities and economies, and we are still to see the full impact on countries with higher rates of poverty and fragile health, social welfare and governance systems. The pandemic, and government measures to contain the spread of the virus, will be most devastating for those who depend on daily informal economic activities for their livelihood. Those who cannot isolate themselves, including slum-dwellers and those living in refugee and internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, will also be disproportionately affected.

Child marriage is a complex issue rooted in gender inequality and the belief that girls and women are somehow inferior to boys. These harmful gender norms also affect women’s and men’s vulnerability to infection, exposure, and treatment responses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experience from the Ebola crisis and other emergencies strongly suggest that girls and women, particularly amongst the poorest and socially marginalised groups will be disproportionately affected by COVID-19 crisis. We know that the threat of child marriage is far greater when communities are affected by economic shocks and have limited access to basic services – including health, education and protection, all of which are being negatively impacted by the  COVID-19 global pandemic.

We understand that many of our member organisations will have to respond quickly to the challenges that have emerged from the COVID-19 crisis. This may include changing the nature of work being carried out, or putting certain projects on hold until the epidemic is under control. During this period it is important that we can all learn from each other to share innovations and good practice. With this is mind, we have collated some resources which may be of use to our members at this difficult time. The resources linked below cover topics such as child protection, prevention and responding to violence against girls and women, health and education.

As this is an evolving situation, we will add to this page as and when we gain new information. We would encourage you to keep us updated about your experiences during this pandemic, so that we are aware of the challenges you are facing and so that we can ensure we are sharing resources that will be useful.

NEW Read our brief on child marriage and COVID-19. It provides insights, recommendations and resources for responding to the needs of adolescent girls during and after this crisis, including married girls and those at risk of child marriage.


What is a CoronavirusIOM- UN Migration

An explanation of what the coronavirus is, how it is contracted, and how to prevent spread by good hygiene practice – available in 26 languages.

Protection of children during the Coronavirus pandemicThe Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

The aim of this technical brief is to support child protection practitioners to better respond to the child protection risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: A Gender Lens. Protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights, and promoting gender equality, UNFPA

This brief presents how women are differently impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak from a Sexual and Reproductive Health perspective and includes elements on how pre-existing social norms impact on the disease outbreak consequences on women and men.

COVID-19: Inclusive programming – ensuring assistance and protection addresses the needs of marginalized and at-risk people, ICRC

This brief highlights the needs of specific groups in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak and their vulnerability (people living in humanitarian settings, women and adolescent girls, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, migrants, …) and gives concrete recommendations for inclusive programming.

Gender implications of COVID-19 outbreaks in development and humanitarian settingsCARE International

This paper analyses the gendered impact of the COVID-19 outbreak response and the necessary efforts and considerations to take gender into account in a meaningful way.

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on violence against women and girlsVAWG HelpdeskUK AID

This paper presents the first findings regarding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak response on GBV in several contexts

including increased risk factors around domestic violence, abuse and exploitation for vulnerable women workers and workplace violence in the health sector among others.

COVID-19 and gender – key advocacy pointsGBV AoR and Gender in Humanitarian Action

This brief presents key messages around the gendered impact of the COVID-19 outbreak – such as the impact on women and girls, on Sexual and Reproductive Health services, on the increase of GBV, on other at-risk social groups.

COVID-19: the gendered impacts of the outbreakThe Lancet

The article argues for a better integration of gender into the COVID-19 response, considering direct and indirect impacts that the outbreak will have on men and women.

COVID-19: School closures around the world will hit girls the hardest – UNESCO

This article highlights the disproportionate effect of school closures on girls, taking into account learnings from the Ebola crisis. It offers practical advice of how to support girls in ways other than formal education settings.

Useful websites

The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

Gender Based Violence AoR