Studies, Reviews and Research

The Secondary Impacts of COVID-19 on Women and Girls in Sub-Saharan Africa

small calendar icon

Publication year:


small globe icon


small file information icon


pdf (694.2 KiB)

small number of pages icon


K4D, Knowledge, Evidence, and Learning for Development

This rapid review focuses on identifying evidence on the secondary impacts of COVID-19 on women and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It aims to enable a greater understanding of the unique circumstances of women and girls in the region, which could assist with the provision of effective support throughout the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath. Guided by available evidence, the review explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls in SSA across various issues. These include some of the following – girls’ education, social protection, unintended pregnancies, access to health services, poverty, livelihood, land rights, women’s and girls’ informal employment, food security and nutrition, female health workforce, and access to WASH.

Despite the limited data, the review found that based on emerging evidence and lessons from past health crises, there is strong evidence to suggest that women and girls in SSA will suffer from extreme and multifaceted negative secondary impact as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Some of which may include higher poverty rates, increase in unplanned pregnancies, a surge in school dropout rates and child labour of adolescent girls, loss of income and reduced financial empowerment, increased household work, reduced access to healthcare and WASH alongside increased maternal deaths, and greater food insecurity and malnutrition.

SubscribeSubscribe and receive reading selections

LibrarySave all your favorite materials for future use

UploadUpload research & contribute to the collection

By browsing the Resource Centre you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read our cookie policy.