AfDB releases new report on impact of Ebola on women

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) – While projections have been made about the short-, medium-, and long-term impacts of Ebola on the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, it is clear that women in the three countries are likely to experience those impacts disproportionately, according to a new study on the disease that recently devastated the three West African countries.

The African Development Bank (AfDB)-commissioned study, ‘Women’s Resilience: Integrating Gender in the Response to Ebola’, has brought to light a topic that has often been discussed, but never investigated concretely – Did Ebola affect women and men differently?

The office of the AfDB’s Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, has launched the report on International Women’s Day with a resounding “yes” to the question.

Bank experts have long suspected that infectious diseases tend to exacerbate the socioeconomic vulnerabilities that were present prior to an outbreak, and that knowledge has been confirmed by this AfDB report.

The AfDB has created the Post-Ebola Social Investment Fund, with a special emphasis on women and girls. Through the Fund, the Bank intends to help women to come out of the current disadvantaged situation and rebuild the financial foundation, particularly in rural areas.