Status and Dynamics of Gender Mainstreaming in East Africa Community COVID-19 Social and Economic Response Policies, Strategies and Interventions - Working Paper

COVID-19 has had serious implications globally for social, economic areas and public health. Equally, the pandemic has proved quite challenging to many countries in East Africa. Recognizing that swift and decisive responses to the pandemic are needed across East Africa. There is need to generate knowledge devoted to advising policy makers to create awareness and sensitize governments on the need to mainstream gender at all levels of policy formulation and action across EAC member countries during the COVID-19 crisis. AERC seeks to generate rigorous and robust analytical policy research papers assessing the impact of COVID-19 crisis on gender mainstreaming across countries in East Africa. It is against this background that this study is set. The study aims to examine the status of women in the East African Community with a view to comprehending how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected women, and further investigate what policies and interventions have been instituted to address gender issues emerging from the pandemic, identifying gender gaps in policies, and proposing new perspectives for reviewing existing gender policies and interventions to address these gaps. The key findings from the gender analysis and key informant interviews are discussed in terms of the areas of education, health, land ownership, career and labour market followed by representation and public decision-making. Overall, in all five thematic areas, there is no gender responsiveness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.