The London School of Economics and Political Science has announced a $1.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for research on the impacts of COVID-19 on women's health and social and economic welfare.
The grant will support gender-focused investigations of the impact of the virus in Kenya, Nigeria, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Brazil — countries with varying levels of gender equality and economic precarity, and, in some cases, recent histories with deadly disease outbreaks. The LSE team has launched a website that will serve as a data and evidence hub for the countries in question and will include a COVID-19 Gender Matrix and COVID-19 Gender Impact Assessment Toolkit. The initial LSE Gender and COVID-19 Project received support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and was focused on China, Hong Kong, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
"We learned from Ebola and Zika that women experience disproportionate downstream effects of health emergencies, such as longer time out of work, additional formal and informal care responsibilities, and increased exposure to pathogens," said Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at LSE. "With this project, we hope to work with policy makers at global and national levels to ensure lessons are learned in real time as re-opening happens, to ensure gender equality is at the heart of the 'new-normal'."
(Image credit: Gender and COVID-19 website)