More than a year after the start of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, with some countries apparently emerging from the crisis while others are entering new waves, evidence of its impact is mounting. multiply. COVID-19 increases short-term humanitarian needs and negatively affects long-term outcomes for marginalized populations and people in vulnerable situations, significantly delaying hard-earned development gains, exacerbating inequalities and exacerbating risks. Among those most affected are the more than 80 million people worldwide, about half of whom are women and girls, who have been forcibly displaced by factors such as persecution, conflict, widespread violence or human rights violations.1 The majority of forcibly displaced people live in resource-poor countries with weak public health and social protection systems, and economies that have been hit hard by the pandemic. To date, there has been little research into the unique ways in which women and girls on the move are affected. 3 This despite predictions of significant impacts on access and use of basic health services, including for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and the overall protection environment, including increased prevalence and risk of gender-based violence (GBV).
Placing gender at the center of its humanitarian and development responses, CARE undertook new research in Afghanistan, Ecuador and Turkey between April and May 2021 to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on women’s health and protection. and girls on the move. The three countries represent different types of forced displacement in several regions: internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees repatriated to Afghanistan; more recent migrants and refugees due to the Venezuelan crisis in Ecuador; and long-term Syrian refugees living under temporary international protection in Turkey. Primary data collected for this research included over 1,000 surveys of women on the move and in host communities, to allow comparison; 31 group discussions (FGD) with women and adolescent girls; and 45 key informant interviews (KII) with government actors, health and protection service providers, humanitarian organizations and CARE staff.