Publication Date: 30/09/2020
COVID-19 has created unprecedented health, economic, and social impacts all over the world. As of 31 August 2020, there have been 25,405,845 confirmed cases globally, and a total of 849,389 deaths. In the Mekong region, there have been 5,612 cases, with 274 in Cambodia, 22 in Lao PDR, 882 in Myanmar, 3,390 in Thailand and 1,044 in Viet Nam. In addition to health effects and deaths caused by the virus, the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and prevention measures taken by governments are far reaching and long-lasting, especially in the context of climate change and natural disasters in the region.
For the Mekong region, COVID-19 presents special challenges for high-risk populations, including the many migrant workers, garment industry workers, indigenous and ethnic minorities, refugees, internally displaced peoples, migrants, urban slum-dwellers, and people working in the informal sector, such as female sex workers. As with all crises, women and children are disproportionately affected. COVID-19 exacerbates the challenges at-risk populations face and makes it even harder for women to access the support services they need in times of crisis.
This brief summarises the Mekong RGA, written by Athena Nguyen, Jordan Hoffmann, Laura Baines, Ratha Ra, Rebecca Elias, and Christina Haneef in September 2020. This Rapid Gender Analysis draws from 301 interviews (including 126 women), secondary data sources, and CARE’s research to understand women’s specific challenges in the Mekong region during the pandemic.