The Peace Centre with the support of Womankind Worldwide and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) undertook a research in Uganda to better understand the context-specific and global gender, peace and security impacts of COVID-19 and develop policy and programming responses which account for the impact of COVID-19.
The findings indicate the gendered effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable and marginalised groups in the urban, rural and refugee settlement contexts. The findings highlight the impact of the pandemic on the community, especially on women’s and girls’ roles, responsibilities, needs and livelihoods. They also highlight gender-based violence (GBV), as well as how these different groups of women and girls are coping with the crisis.
With more COVID-19 cases being reported in neighbouring South Sudan and DRC, refugees crossing the porous Uganda borders and more conflict incidences reported by Women Mediators Networks, The Peace Centre extended support to the district COVID-19 response taskforces of Yumbe, Adjumani and Kotido to scale up prevention and response measures. Fuel was provided which enabled the task force to coordinate emergency response activities including the provision of health care services, awareness-raising campaign on preventive measures and individual case management of other emergencies. The Peace Centre is now a member of the Districts COVID 19 response taskforces and participates in the decision-making and coordination structures.
The Peace Centre was excited to join the meeting on 12th May to share work done to ensure gender responsive COVID response and adopt a regional framework for mainstreaming gender in COVID response in Africa. The meeting brought together 195 participants including the African Union Chairperson, the UN Women Executive Director, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Africa Center for Disease Control, and the African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security leaders of the African Union, Gender Ministers, UN Women Country Offices and Women’s Rights Organizations across the continent to. Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network shared women’s rights organizations response strategies to COVID-19 and The Peace Centre presented lessons from work with refugee women incorporating COVID-19 prevention into their early warning and peace building activities.
African Gender Ministers thereafter shared their national strategies, received feedback and adopted a gender framework for COVID-19 response. The Framework Document on the Impact of COVID-19 on GEWE: African Union Guidelines on Gender-Responsive Responses to COVID-19 includes a section on the impact of COVID on women, peace and security as well as guidelines for safeguarding gains and mitigating its impact on women in conflict and post-conflict zones. The political declaration emanating from the meeting will be used to address the challenges facing women and girls in Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while informing response and recovery planning and financing.