Women bear the brunt of Covid-19—not so profound a statement in the Kenyan context, where a spike in teen pregnancies has featured regularly in the media since the government closed schools in March in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
But then, Kenya is not alone, hence the attention UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region (GLR) Huang Xia is according Covid-19. The African Great Lakes region comprises Burundi, Rwanda, the north eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, north western Kenya and Tanzania.
In three outcome documents of high-level virtual meetings the special envoy convened in July and August, participants have expressed concern at the disproportionate and negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women. Singled out is the economic impact, which takes note of women’s entrepreneurial role, as they represent 70 per cent of cross-border traders in the GLR.
In recognition of women’s catalytic role in the region’s economic growth, plus their support of regional peace and security, the Special Envoy’s Advisory Board for Women, Peace and Security (WPS) advocated for increased international support towards ensuring post-Covid-19 socio-economic recovery and development, and the full integration of the WPS agenda into regional peace-building efforts.