Background Pandemics and outbreaks have differential impacts on women and men. From risk of exposure and biological susceptibility to infection to the social and economic implications, individuals’ experiences are likely to vary according to their biological and gender characteristics and their interaction with other social determinants. Because of this, global and national strategic plans for COVID-19 preparedness and response must be grounded in strong gender analysis and must ensure meaningful participation of affected groups, including women and girls, in decision-making and implementation. 1 WHO calls on its Member States and all global actors to guide investments in quality and gender-sensitive research on the adverse health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Countries are advised to incorporate a focus on gender into their COVID-19 responses in order to ensure that public health policies and measures to curb the epidemic take account of gender and how it interacts with other areas of inequality.
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