Covid-19 Rapid Gender Analysis - CARE International in Uganda Omugo Settlement, Palabek Settlement, Gulu Municipality, Arua Municipality, Moyo District, Lamwo District - May 2020

Executive Summary

The novel corona virus disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic has been widely reported to have distinct gendered implications in countries around the world.1 This rapid gender analysis (RGA) seeks to explore the implications of COVID 19 in specific areas in northern Uganda to inform current CARE Uganda programming in the region, as well as to serve as reference to any other stakeholders working in the area and with similar target groups. The specific locations this RGA covers are: Omugo settlement, Palabek
settlement, Gulu municipality, Arua municipality, Moyo district and Lamwo district.

This study looks at how COVID 19 is affecting men, women, boys and girls, from refugee and non-refugee backgrounds, in the urban, rural and settlement contexts. It follows earlier RGAs2 conducted prior to the outbreak of the pandemic and seeks to identify where there have been changes of note as a result of the pandemic. On this basis, it provides a number of recommendations to donors and for implementing organisations.

Key findings:
  1. GBV is on the rise and GBV services are less accessible to survivors due to the constraining
    and strenuous conditions associated with lockdown measures.
  2. Together with GBV survivors, women of childbearing age and pregnant and lactating women (PLW)
    are struggling to access essential GBV and SRMH services.
  3. The pandemic has considerably increased women and girls’ unpaid care burden as they are
    now looking after children out of school and household members out of jobs, at home. The higher
    and more frequent demand for water that accompanies COVID-19 hand washing precautions
    exacerbates this situation and means that women and girls are spending even more time on water
  4. Access to food was found to be a major concern, slightly more so for women than men. Urban
    and settlement populations are facing high levels of food insecurity. Refugees in settlements are in
    a distinctly dire situation because their food rations have been reduced and because they can no
    longer travel to host communities to find alternative sources of food.
  5. The pandemic has had a severe impact on livelihoods because of the closure of markets,
    businesses and key trading routes. The worst affected are those that work low paid, insecure jobs
    in the informal sector, which tend to be women and girls. Of note is the suspension of informal
    financial groups such as Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), which affects women
    and girls in particular, as they constitute the majority of members.
  6. The suspension of Y/VSLAs has implications beyond the financial realm particularly for women
    and girls, who depend on their Y/VSLA group gatherings for peer support and access to
    information, including COVID risk and prevention information.
  7. COVID decision-making platforms – e.g. COVID task forces – are comprised in majority of men and
    women’s voice is marginalised.
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Thank you to all who supported us on this journey, including the untiring colleagues at CARE International in Uganda.

AB. Gabazira
Country Director, CARE International in Uganda