Sex, Gender and COVID-19

Project Period

June 2020 - June 2021

The Sex, Gender and Covid-19 Project is a partnership of Global Health 50/50 (UCL), the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). The project is building the world’s largest database of sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19, investigating the roles sex and gender are playing in the outbreak, building the evidence base of what works to tackle gender disparities, and advocating for effective gender-responsive approaches to pandemic.

In efforts to respond to COVID-19, sex-disaggregated data is critical to tailoring public health responses, informing clinical practice, influencing the development of vaccines and treatments, and in the design of clinical trials. However, only a handful of countries were reporting sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19, and that no initiative had taken responsibility for consolidating the data that were available. Over the next year, Global Health 50/50 (London), ICRW (New Delhi) and the APHRC (Nairobi) will be working together to take this work forward.

What are we planning to do?

  • Expand the COVID-19 Sex-Disaggregated Data Tracker: Partners will be increasing the number of countries tracked and collecting sub-national data where available in select countries; adding more variables and capturing disaggregated data by other intersectional characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
  • Identifying effective gender-responsive policies and programmes to address the health implications of COVID-19: Partners will synthesize evidence on effective gender-responsive interventions across multiple levels of the health system. The evidence will be reviewed by a panel of experts to develop policy recommendations that are gender-responsive, feasible and applicable across a range of economic settings. 
  • Advocate for gender-responsive COVID-19 responses at national, regional and global levels: Based on the findings of the Data Tracker and expert recommendations, partners will engage with leaders and institutions to encourage regular, standardized reporting of sex-and age disaggregated data, gender analyses of the impacts of COVID-19, and implementation of strategies to address COVID-19 that take sex and gender into consideration.

What are we hoping to achieve?

    • National authorities increasingly report COVID- 19 sex- and age-disaggregated health data 
    • National and sub-national health programmes and global health institutions are using sex-disaggregated data and intersectional gender analysis to inform COVID-19 responses
    • Global and national policies and programmes incorporate gender-responsive recommendations to tackle COVID-19