Egypt’s COVID-19 Response through a Gender Lens

In: Arab Law Quarterly
Nora Salem Assistant Professor of Public International Law and Head of the International Law Department at the German University in Cairo Egypt

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Across every sphere of life—health, economy, social security, livelihood and education—the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women due to persisting gender inequalities. Women are not only more likely to contract COVID-19, but also lockdowns have affected women’s economic and social security disproportionately due to increased unpaid care work at home, women’s high representation in vulnerable employment or employment in the informal labour sector. Upon the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020, the Egyptian Government adopted a variety of public health measures to contain the widespread of the virus on 14 March 2020, accompanied by certain mitigation measures to reduce disproportionate impacts on women. Against this backdrop, this article examines the existence and scope of an international obligation to adopt mitigation measures to reduce disproportionate impacts on women and analyzes Egypt’s COVID-19 response against such obligation.

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