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Identifying and analysing the most vulnerable female segments under COVID-19

Identifying and analysing the most vulnerable female segments under COVID-19

September 1, 2020    

We’re exploring which segments of women in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are most vulnerable under COVID-19, what their current coping mechanisms are in the face of financial shocks, and what we might learn from this for the design of relief policy measures.

Across the world, over 200 countries have expanded or introduced new social protection measures to help their citizens face the shocks of the pandemic. It is vital that such initiatives reach the most vulnerable in society – which are often women, as their lives are disproportionately and differently affected than those of men. This is due to several reasons; generally, women earn less, hold less secure jobs, and are more likely to be employed in the informal sector and sectors more likely affected by lockdowns, and carry a larger burden of unpaid care work, among others. Under the current pandemic, these existing gaps in financial and economic health are increasing.

But women are not a homogenous group. Implementing gender-intentional relief policies in practice can be hampered by a lack of gender data, especially on different segments of women.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Cenfri has used a number of datasets to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on different segments of women, to identify relevant insights about their coping mechanisms with shocks, and their broader financial behaviour. Given that recent data on women’s financial behaviour under COVID-19 is scarce, we have applied a blended approach in the data that we use. We invite the audience to share their insights and experiences, as we move towards more nuanced understanding together.

In this discussion paper, we will:

  • Identify the most vulnerable segments of women under COVID-19 in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa;
  • Explore what their current coping mechanisms are in the face of financial shocks;
  • Present a high-level overview of relevant insights into their financial behaviour; and
  • Explore what we might learn from this for the design of relief measures.

We would like your comments and to discuss your own experiences of designing gender-intentional policies and approaches. If you would like to engage, please contact mishkah@cenfri.org.

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September 10, 2020 -
3:00 pm -
mishkah@cenfri.org