The African Union (AU) has said the COVID-19 accentuates African women’s pre-existing challenges and vulnerabilities, especially during armed conflict and post-conflict situations.
The statement was made on Saturday by the Peace and Security Council of the 55-member pan-African bloc, which followed the council’s recent meeting under the theme “Women, Peace, Culture and Gender Inclusivity in Africa.”
The council “acknowledges the debilitating impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on women’s livelihoods and economic autonomy, thereby accentuating their pre-existing challenges and vulnerabilities, especially during armed conflict and post-conflict situations,” the statement read.
According to the AU, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on African women’s pre-existing challenges and vulnerabilities is evidenced by human rights violations and abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence.
The AU’s Peace and Security Council in this regard strongly condemned the violations of human and people’s rights, especially those against women and girls. It further called for the perpetrators to be criminally prosecuted to ensure justice for the victims.
The AU has recently emphasized that the impact of COVID-19 on African women and girls who continue to face structural, social, cultural and economic injustices is significant and overwhelming.
According to the AU, the pandemic has exacerbated the existing structural injustices, creating a far deeper social, economic and humanitarian threat.