Centring sexual and reproductive health and justice in the global COVID-19 response

Woman that are members of the Nairobi Young and Old cooperative group at their small center where they make income generating products that are sold at local markets and provide personal income for the women. This income enables the women to have some financial independence and not rely on their husband, when spending money on their health and education for their children. This income also helps them when deciding on family planning options. The group also gathers regularly to discuss sexual reproductive health, and family planning options. They are supported bu DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung), an international development and advocacy organization with focus on achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Global responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are converging with pervasive, existing sexual and reproductive health and justice inequities to disproportionately impact the health, wellbeing, and economic stability of women, girls, and vulnerable populations. People whose human rights are least protected are likely to experience unique difficulties from COVID-19. Women, girls, and marginalised groups are likely to carry a heavier burden of what will be the devastating downstream economic and social consequences of this pandemic. A sexual and reproductive health and justice framework—one that centres human rights, acknowledges intersecting injustices, recognises power structures, and unites across identities—is essential for monitoring and addressing the inequitable gender, health, and social effects of COVID-19.