Women Respond - Women's Leadership in COVID-19 Response - CARE

Women Respond

COVID-19 is a massive crisis for everyone in the world that creates special challenges for women.

Women Respond builds CARE’s Rapid Gender Analysis work, needs assessments, and our longstanding relationships with women leaders all over the world to better understand the unique situation COVID-19 presents and adapt our programming and advocacy to meet those challenges. It puts women’s voices and experiences at the center of response, and provides unique insights into women’s experiences leading responses to COVID-19, the evolving challenges they face, and the support they advocate for from leaders at local and global levels.

Explore what women have to say about COVID-19’s impact on their lives, their leadership, and what they need now.

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Women are more likely to lose their incomes because of COVID-19, are facing higher rates of violence, and are more likely to be going without food than men. Many women are facing a rollback of rights they have fought hard to claim. In the face of these tremendous challenges, women are showing remarkable leadership and innovation to cope with crisis. They are organizing information campaigns, using their business skills to produce thousands of masks, and finding ways to support people in their communities.

Women and Girls' Voices

Impact of COVID

CARE asked girls in three countries, how has your life changed since COVID-19?

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Response to COVID

CARE asked girls in three countries, how are you responding to COVID-19 to keep your household and community safe?

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Needs as Leaders

CARE asked girls in three countries what support they would need to become a leader in the COVID-19 response.

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Standing strong in the face of the pandemic: Case Study, Uganda, June 2021

Since COVID-19, CARE has undertaken concerted efforts to listen to women and girls and learn the impacts of the pandemic on women's lives, their greatest needs, and how they are responding. A segment of women and girls CARE engaged in these conversations have been members of VSLAs. This case study features the story of 33-year-old VSLA member Kansiime Bonny from South West Uganda. Kansiime was interviewed in April 2021 as part of CARE's Women Respond initiative.

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Solidarity in Saving: Women Respond Quarter 1 Briefing, May 2021

Between December 2020 and March 2021, CARE conducted interviews with saving group members as part of the Women (in VSLA) Respond sub-initiative. The sub-initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and focuses on how women and girls in VSLAs in Burundi, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Uganda are affected by and responding to the pandemic. This Quarter 1 briefing is the first of four and includes quantitative data from Burundi, Ethiopia, Mali, and Niger. The survey included 1,607 VSLA members, of which 1,422 were women and girls. This brief will be continuously updated as follow-up surveys and qualitative interviews conducted in the six countries to understand how trends evolve over time.

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Young dreams during a Pandemic: Case Study, Ethiopia, May 2021

Since COVID-19, CARE has undertaken concerted efforts to listen to women and girls and learn the impacts of the pandemic on women's lives, their greatest needs, and how they are responding. A segment of women and girls CARE engaged in these conversations have been members of VSLAs. This case study features the story of 15-year-old Mahlet Gulilat from West Hararghe, Ethiopia, the leader of her VSLA group. Mahlet was interviewed in April 2021 as part of CARE's Women Respond initiative.

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Women Respond: A Glimpse of Women's First Hand Responses to COVID-19

June 2020

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Impossible does not exist: the voices of West Africa

June 2020

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Global RGA Trends

July 2020

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Left Out and Left Behind

August 2020. CARE interviewed more than 4500 women from 64 countries about how the pandemic is affecting their livelihoods, and ability to feed their families. The most immediate priority was food and income, and the biggest challenge is the increasing burden on women.

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Learning from Youth in West Africa in COVID-19

August 2020

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She Told Us So

September 2020. This first-of-its-kind research that reveals differing perspectives between men and women when it comes to the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on first person survey feedback from 6,200 women and 4,000 men in nearly 40 countries, women were more likely than men to report challenges across three (3) main areas: Livelihoods, Food, Mental Health. This Rapid Gender Analysis data was collected using context-appropriate tools, including SMS surveys, WhatsApp and phone interviews and when safe in-person conversation. This real time, first person interaction allows CARE to move quickly and understand response gaps. The goal of this approach is not to elevate women’s concerns above men’s, but to make sure they are heard in the first place.

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Saving Cash, Saving Lives

October 2020. In June 2020, CARE conducted interviews with savings group members and leaders to understand their experiences of COVID-19, and how it was changing their lives. The survey included 545 women and 331 men, for a total of 876 respondents. This snapshot from June will be followed up with a second round of data collection in September to understand how trends evolve over time.

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Coping With COVID-19 in Nigeria

November 2020. In Nigeria, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was declared on February 27th, 2020. The outbreak in the country has recorded 1,364 cases to date with 45 deaths. CARE surveyed savings groups in the Yobe, Jigawa and Bauchi states of Nigeria in September of 2020. 239 respondents (70% women) shared their community experiences throughout the COVID-19 response.

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Women Workers Respond

January 2021

Read the report on USAID Learning Lab