Some 34 million women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa could live in severe poverty in the next decade as a result of the effects of Covid-19, according to new data on empowerment interventions.
Between 2021 and 2030, the number of women and girls living in extremely poor households is expected to rise from 249 million to 283 million, the UN Department of Women and UN Economic and Social Affairs found in their joint report Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Sex Screenshot 2020 Report.
It is worrying that by 2030, 71 percent of women and girls worldwide will be living in extreme poverty.
The pandemic is causing revival in extreme poverty, as it has disrupted efforts to eradicate poverty and inequality, as women and girls are most affected, the report said.
“Women are increasingly likely to live in extreme poverty than men. As the crisis exacerbates labor market instability, coupled with gender inequalities in access to economic resources and the distribution of unpaid care and domestic work, many more women are expected to fall into shortfall, ”reads the report.
Covid-19 stopped schooling, and it had a greater effect on the girls, including increasing teenage pregnancies with some contaminated, exchanging in teenage relationships or sex to satisfy an urgent need such as food and sanitary towels.
In light of this, the girls will be left behind in education, as the report finds that more than 11 million girls from pre- and tertiary education are at risk of not returning to school.
Their chances are further diminished as some countries like Tanzania have introduced prohibitive policies that prohibit pregnant adolescents or teenage mothers from going to school.
Routine health services
The report indicates that the preventive deaths of mothers by 2030 will be terminated as an unlikely achievement as it currently stands.
This is because the pandemic put considerable strain on the health systems, which not only disrupted the routine of health services but also changed the behavior of most women.
In Kenya, for example, the media has been thinking about expectant women choosing to come home for fear of contracting the virus in hospitals. Others were forced to give birth without competent servants, as they became pregnant during the hour and therefore could not travel to the nearest health institution.
In the prevailing circumstances, the report says, the world with more than one million lives is expected to be less than the target.
It is worrying that gender equality programs are still severely underfunded, as they receive only four percent of bilateral aid.
Data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that the allocation to gender equality programs remains very low at four percent.
At the same time, gender-blind bilateral aid is very high, standing at 62 percent.
The UN leadership is already concerned about the slow pace at which women’s empowerment is being promoted.
“Change is coming at a pace that is too slow for the women and girls whose lives depend on it, and for the effectiveness of our efforts to maintain international peace and security,” he said. António Guterres, on 29 October during the UN Public Security Council’s annual public debate on women, peace and security.
He said a meager 0.2 percent of bilateral aid to fragile and conflict-ridden situations goes to women’s organizations, which essentially support local women’s peace initiatives and indigenous conflict resolution processes.
And it reverses efforts to meet the commitments contained in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on women, peace and security.