Confined by COVID: Women, Girls, HIV and SRHR
Women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, including their ability to decide if and when to have sex, and if and when to have children, are central to gender equality. Yet the COVID-19 crisis and the response to it have exacerbated gender inequality and patriarchal norms that underlie the challenges women and girls already face in realising and maintaining their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
In all of these interviews, women described the new challenges they face in living with HIV during this ‘syndemic’, where the COVID-19 pandemic interacts with existing inequalities, including gender inequalities, violence against women and girls, and economic injustice— adding to the difficulties they already experienced before COVID-19.
It was evident from the interviews that women and girls are stepping up to support each other, advocate, and deliver community responses to their peers.
Their experiences illustrate that there will be no ethical, effective, sustainable response to COVID-19 without women being at the centre of decision-making around their SRHR.
This Advocacy Brief documents country voices and experiences, and presents seven key findings and seven calls for action.
Suggested citation: Salamander Trust and ITPC (2020) Confined by COVID-19: women and girls, HIV and SRHR. The challenges, the responses and calls to action.