#INPRINT: Women’s Resilience: Integrating Gender in the Response to Ebola

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Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the deadly dreaded disease which ravaged the people of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone has risen to become one of the diseases most talked about since its alarming outbreak in 2014 in West Africa. Claiming scores of lives to become listed as one of world’s biggest threats, many reports have been published on it, but few have considered the differing effects it had on men, women, and children. This report fills up this vacuum on women, by examining, with the use of data, the socio-economic status of women in the three countries most affected before the outbreak, during the outbreak, and after it.

The report records women to have been highly marginalized; made to work hard but with lower earnings compared to men, and even disposed of their inheritances in some cases.. It further reveals women to have been most infected, as they were more vulnerable and dominated cross-border trades. There were more women as nurses, mid-wives, care givers, farmers, than men, which exposed them the more to getting infected. The report further explains the impacts of the outbreak on these countries in cross border trades, farming and livelihood, tourism, break in family structures, access to health and financial services, amongst other impacts but with particular focus on women.

The final part of the report calls for data and subsequent research on the topic in order to form basis for post-Ebola policies in these disease ravaged, but unequal countries. Although the conclusion calls for more research and proofs, yet AfDB did not fail to suggest ideas to the governments of these countries, the citizens, donors, and policy makers. The bank has used the report to express the reason for establishing the Ebola Social Investment Fund, in contributing to helping these countries and especially their women recover.

African Development Bank at the request of these Mano River Union (MRU) countries, has been able to provide adequate data and information on the pre-Ebola, Ebola, and post-Ebola socio-economic states of these worst hit countries as much as it exposes gender conditions in the countries and the yet to be successful measures to bridge them.

 

Celebrating Women on 2016 International Women’s Day

 

Publisher: African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

Date of Publication: 2016

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