International Development Select Committee inquiry

Humanitarian crises monitoring: impact of coronavirus


Submission to the International Development Committee inquiry

Humanitarian crises monitoring: impact of coronavirus


Evidence submitted by ActionAid UK


11 May 2020


About ActionAid


ActionAid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty. Our dedicated local staff are helping end violence against women and girls and changing lives, for good.


Founded as a British charity in 1972, ActionAid works in 45 countries. We are now headquartered in South Africa, with staff and partners in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Our vision is a world free from poverty and injustice in which every person enjoys the right to a life with dignity. Our top priority is to end the inequality that keeps women and girls locked in poverty, and to restore the rights denied them from birth. We focus our work on three key areas; women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women and girls, and women’s and girls’ rights in humanitarian crises.


ActionAid has extensive experience of responding to emergencies, including the Ebola crisis. Our aim is to save lives, contribute to mitigating the impact of emergencies and to protect the rights of women and girls in these contexts. In addition, ActionAid works to empower local women’s rights actors to lead response and recovery measures.


Drawing from our experiences delivering UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) and witnessing first-hand the impact it has on women and girls living in poverty, this submission sets out the direct and indirect impacts of the outbreak on developing countries; recommendations for the UK’s response and potential long-term implications for UK ODA spending.


For more information on our work, and to discuss further the evidence raised below, please contact Isabelle Younane, Senior Advocacy Manager, at



Summary: a gendered crisis


As a result of existing discriminatory social norms, women and girls already experience multiple disadvantages, amounting to violations of their rights. Evidence from COVID-19 and other public health crises shows that during these emergencies, women and girls face distinct and disproportionate impacts, whilst existing gender inequalities are deepened. Specifically, women and girls in the Global South:



Women and girls who have been displaced or are living in conflict affected states or occupied territories are particularly vulnerable to these impacts.


Many of the direct risks to women and girls are outlined in ActionAid UK’s first submission to the International Development Select Committee inquiry on the immediate impacts of COVID-19. Beyond the immediate humanitarian crisis, there is a huge risk to communities in the Global South as the world transitions to a ‘new normal’. COVID-19 is likely to have long term economic, political and social impacts threatening the resilience of communities and risking progress made on development and gender equality. This second ActionAid UK submission focuses on the longer-term human rights impacts on women and girls, including with respect to their livelihoods, physical integrity, and access to decent work.


Summary of recommendations


  1. The direct and indirect impacts of the outbreak on developing countries, and specific risks and threats


Women’s leadership, localisation and long-term change


We urge the UK Government to:


The right to decent work: women in informal sectors and global value chains


We urge the UK Government to:


Unpaid care and gender-responsive public services


We urge the UK Government to:


  1. The impact of the outbreak on UK aid funding in the longer term


We urge the UK Government to:



  1. The direct and indirect impacts of the outbreak on developing countries, and specific risks and threats


Women’s leadership and ongoing exclusion from key decision-making spaces


1.1         ActionAid’s approach to emergencies – its humanitarian signature – has four key components: shifting power to local actors;  recognising the agency and leadership of local women and their collective action; ensuring accountability to those affected by emergencies and ensuring our short-term response links to resilience-building and longer-term sustainable change. ActionAid has been driving this approach for more than a decade and our experience, underpinned by evidence, has shown the effectiveness of investing in local, women-led responses[2].


1.2         Almost four years on from the World Humanitarian Summit, ambitious plans to reform the humanitarian sector are still failing to shift power and resources to local actors within preparedness, response, recovery, and long-term resilience efforts. Grand Bargain Signatories, including governments, donors, international NGOs (INGOs) and United Nations (UN) agencies, continue to work in ways which create financial, regulatory, and cultural barriers to local women-led organisations[3]. The absence of women was noted during the Ebola epidemic, and women continue to be markedly absent from crucial decision-making spaces in relation to COVID-19[4],[5]. The UN Global Humanitarian Plan for COVID-19 is a good reflection of the current state of play; the Plan makes the case for ‘localisation’ but does not mention women’s agency and will channel 95 per cent of its funds through UN agencies. COVID-19 is a crucial opportunity for the UN, and Grand Bargain Signatories including the UK to prioritise women’s leadership and uphold women’s rights – as articulated by UN Women[6].


1.3         While women are exposed to multiple risks in emergency settings, they are also often the first to respond. Women-led actors bring invaluable knowledge of their local context and are well-positioned to identify and drive effective responses; leveraging existing networks and connections to mobilise quickly and effectively. In previous health crises[7], local women have been a powerful force in infectious disease control. They know the best ways of communicating health messages to, and are trusted by, families and communities; increasing adoption of healthy behaviours based on accessible information - powerful assets in tackling COVID-19. Women-led responses are also able to ensure that the needs of women and girls are met at their roots and are therefore invaluable in building longer-term sustainable change and resilience. This is particularly noted in relation to responding to and preventing violence against women and girls[8].


1.4         For example, following women-led responses to Cyclone Mahasen in 2013 in Bangladesh, ActionAid research highlighted perceived shifts in gender norms, noting that women were subsequently encouraged and supported to participate in community decision-making, and that some men undertook domestic tasks while women were participating in activities outside of the home. Women reported a positive shift in how their opinions were valued and considered that to be a significant change in their community. Similarly, in the Philippines, women found that their participation in the women-led response initiatives to Typhoon Haiyan made their leadership more valued and visible to the community. As a result, they reported playing a more visible role in family-level decision-making[9].


1.5         To realise this transformative potential, local responders, international agencies, and donors need to demonstrate commitment to promoting women’s leadership and protecting women’s rights. This means ensuring that women have a meaningful voice in decisions on funding, operations, capacity strengthening efforts and measuring.


Recommendations to the UK Government


1.6         COVID-19 poses a real risk that progress made on eradicating poverty and gender equality could be lost and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals will be unlikely. Governments must work collaboratively to do things differently, including scaling up investment in local, women-led organisations, which have proven to be an effective approach to building resilient communities.


1.7         As part of the ‘Grand Bargain’, the UK made a commitment to better support local and national responders to become central actors within the humanitarian system. COVID-19 is an opportunity to support the vital work of local actors, whose frontline knowledge and experience will ensure gender equality is a central feature of recovery efforts. To that end, we urge the Government to:


-          Dedicated funding for COVID-19.  This funding should include specific and mandatory targets for DFID to ensure that resource reaches women and girls, ensures gender responsive approaches, and supports the pursuit of gender equality outcomes and women-led approaches - including for (violence against women and girls) VAWG prevention and response.

-          The piloting of new, flexible funding models led by WROs. It is essential that there are funding mechanisms to support the collective leadership and action of women in longer-term strategic recovery and resilience work, as part of their ongoing gender-justice work. Direct funding models must be led by women, provide long-term, predictable finance and include core funding to support local women-led organisations ‘to deliver their self-defined priorities’, as they adapt their work to deal with the gendered impact of COVID-19[11].

-          Channeling funds through ‘localisation-friendly’ funding models. Often these can promote existing local and women-led responses more easily than funds channelled through UN and INGO intermediaries.


-          Strengthening representation and power of local women and women-led actors in programme design. Meaningfully engaging with local women-led actors and being accountable to them, involves providing accessible information. It is also critical to create spaces and opportunities for them to inform the design of programming responses, which value and are guided by local knowledge and women’s priorities.  

-          Strengthening the representation and power of local women and women-led actors at a cluster level. National governments and UN coordination leads should encourage the input and leadership of women, and local women-led actors in COVID-19 cluster contingency planning, ensuring their meaningful engagement in all clusters and coordination mechanisms. What this means is taking advice on how to remove barriers to women’s meaningful engagement, including travel and security restrictions, financial constraints, and addressing language issues



The right to decent work: women in informal sectors and global value chains


1.8         COVID-19 is expected to drive long-term economic impacts, exacerbating inequalities based on gender and other systems of discrimination. UNCTAD has predicted the cost to the global economy will be US$1trillion and predicts a 2 per cent slow-down in the global economy[12].  The World Bank reports that 50 million additional people are expected to fall into poverty as a result of COVID-19, with the majority in Sub-Saharan Africa, and agriculture in Africa is expected to decline by 3-7 per cent[13].  


1.9         Many countries in the Global South have vast informal sectors which will be deeply affected by the crisis; the ILO warns that 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy – that is nearly half of the global workforce – stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed[14]. Informal employment as a percentage of total employment in Sub Saharan Africa is 89 per cent, in South Asia is 88 per cent, in East and Southeast Asia (excluding China) is 77 per cent, and in Latin America and the Caribbean is 54 per cent[15].


1.10     Women are overrepresented in these sectors; holding the majority of the lowest paid, most insecure, informal and vulnerable jobs[16]. These jobs often lack any form of social protection and have limited opportunities to unionise, falling far short of the standards of decent work as defined by the ILO. COVID-19 exacerbates this trend, with women workers finding it more difficult to work due to childcare responsibilities as schools and childcare centres are closed. Women garment makers and bead sellers in South Africa can no longer produce or sell their goods as these markets are closed, while in Mexico, female waste pickers are reportedly bringing their children to work since there are no classes: “they put them on their carts, because they have to work”, said one interviewee to WIEGO[17]. ActionAid Tanzania reports that school closures have increased unpaid care work for women, because all children are at home and their care is considered as a woman’s responsibility.


1.11     Of course, school closures as a result of COVID-19 is likely to have long-term consequences for those children removed from school. As the global economic slow-down takes hold and domestic burdens increase, some children - particularly girls - may never return to school. During the EVD outbreak in West Africa, increased care burdens led to increased absenteeism for girls, with long-term detrimental impacts on their educational, health and economic outcomes[18].


1.12     In order to ensure a gender-responsive approach to COVID-19, it is therefore vital that the UK Government considers the informal sector (and women’s over-representation within this sector) as they plan ahead for economic recovery. DFID should conduct a gender-responsive analysis of the needs in the communities in which they are operating, including the prevalence of informal work, the fiscal policy space of the respective Government to enact social protection measures or bolster public services, and the existence of social protection measures, so that UK response addresses the diversified needs of a country’s whole population. Although the aim should be for governments to fund their own, universal social protection systems, initial, evidence-based support from DFID can help to kickstart the process towards self-sufficiency. It is essential that the extensions to schemes are not just a stop-gap solution but integrated into governments’ long-term strategies.


1.13     The slowdown in consumption is also having a disproportionate impact on women working in garments and textiles – including as homeworkers, and in agricultural processing as part of global value chains. The expansion of global value chains, facilitated through trade and investment deals, has generated millions of much-needed jobs for women, who comprise some 80-90 per cent of the workforce producing clothes for major brands[19]. However, as price remains one of the main criteria for global brands, competition between suppliers to produce cheap goods in many countries in the Global South has led to downward pressure on women’s wages and working conditions, leading to their increasing informalisation.


1.14     This pressure can increase further during times of crisis, as it did during the 2008 global economic crash, for example, when suppliers in countries such as Bangladesh came under pressure to produce garments and shoes even more quickly and cheaply, translating into even worse pay and conditions for workers. In 2009, Marks & Spencer’s, Tesco and H&M were reportedly among 50 brands and retailers calling on Bangladesh exporters to reduce their prices if they wished to stay competitive[20]. Young domestic migrant women are rendered even more powerless in relation to employers. These workers, integral to the global economy and their countries’ respective economic recoveries, face the risk of increased poverty wages, persistently dangerous and unsafe working conditions and further eroded levels of social protection[21].


1.15     As well as facing a long-term reduction in wages in a decline in working conditions, women also face the imminent threat of becoming destitute overnight. Due to a fall in consumer demand from COVID-19-related lockdowns and a shortage of raw materials from China, many factories in garment-producing countries are closing down. In Myanmar, more than 60,000 factory workers have already lost their jobs since the start of the crisis[22]. As of April 2020, more than a million garment workers in Bangladesh alone have been sent home without pay or social protection after major clothing brands cancelled or suspended $3.17bn of orders due to the collapse in consumer demand caused by COVID-19[23],[24]. Meanwhile in Cambodia, hundreds of garment factories with an approximate 500,000 workers are at risk of closure or suspension because of cancellation of orders or failure by buyers to honour their contracts[25].


1.16     An increase in poverty and destitution leads to a higher risk of exploitation in many forms. Economic exploitation, with poor working conditions, will make women more vulnerable to violence and sexual abuse[26]. While violence against women and girls affects women from all economic situations, ActionAid’s research shows that women in vulnerable work are more likely to experience intimate partner violence. Therefore, women already in informal jobs facing income loss and job insecurity due to the pandemic may also face an increased risk of violence and abuse.


1.17     The pandemic has  shone a renewed light on the deficit in decent work faced by millions of women producing clothes and products for consumption in UK markets, the lack of corporate accountability in this regard, and the unsustainability of developing countries’ high reliance on FDI-supported, export-orientated models of low value-added growth.


1.18     The economic fallout of COVID-19 comprises a critical moment for leaders in the Global North – including the UK as it prepares to re-enter post-Brexit trade negotiations – to consider the implications of its trade and investment policies as well as its wider approaches to promoting decent work for women, including social protection for informal sector workers and the fostering of sustainable green jobs, and strengthening corporate accountability. A gender-responsive approach to international trade should be adopted, with steps taken to end the race-to-the-bottom of wages and working conditions in global value chains and improvements in social protection[27]. Multinationals should be held accountable for rights violations in their supply chains, including through mandatory gender-responsive human rights due diligence legislation and a binding UN treaty on business and human rights[28].


1.19     The UK Government has long been a champion of women’s economic empowerment; it is a pillar of DFID’s Global Vision for Gender Equality and cuts across DFID’s Economic Development Strategy. The UK is among the 118 countries which have signed up to the World Trade Organization’s Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment, launched in 2017. The Declaration includes commitments on sharing best practices for conducting gender-based analysis of trade policies. Similarly, the flagship SheTrades initiative, supported by the UK and numerous donors, aims to connect three million women entrepreneurs to global markets.


1.20     However, these commitments are predominantly concerned with removing the barriers women face to engaging in trade, notably by supporting women entrepreneurs, whilst ignoring the impacts of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on women as workers, producers, consumers, small-scale farmers, and as principal providers of unpaid care. The COVID-19 crisis means that it is more critical than ever for leaders to move beyond the focus on women’s entrepreneurship – which targets a relatively narrow proportion of women in the Global South – and urgently address the broader impacts of current trade rules and deals on the rights of women as workers, producers, consumers, and providers of unpaid care work, especially those from the poorest and most marginalised communities. As we move beyond the COVID-19 crisis, ActionAid therefore urges the UK Government to take a renewed focus on decent work for formal and informal workers. It should also systematically evaluate how its economic policies and development programmes and approaches, and job creation programme, and recognise the economic barriers that prevent women realising their rights. Women must be paid living wages, equal to men’s, and enjoy social protections such as paid maternity leave.


1.21     As COVID-19 causes economic devastation in the Global South, women and girls in these nations are already bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. Ahead of the St Petersburg Climate Dialogue, the UK Government spoke of the need for a ‘green and resilient’ post-COVID recovery. This is to be welcomed. Government spend must support the transition to a zero-carbon world rather than a return to ‘business as usual’. To that end, we call on the Government to support economic recovery through green stimulus so that developing countries have the chance to recover and build resilience from both the COVID-19 and climate crises that threaten their development and sustainability. Ensuring the meaningful participation of women and girls in economic recovery plans in response to COVID-19, will also support the long-term transition to a more equitable, gender just and climate just world.


1.22     Recommendations to UK Government:



Unpaid care and gender-responsive public services


1.23     For decades, austerity policies advocated by institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank has meant that public services in the global south have been chronically underfunded, leaving many countries completely unprepared for COVID-19. The World Health Organisation recommends that governments spend $86 per person per year on health services. Yet Uganda spends just $6 and Malawi spends just $8[29].


1.24     Beyond the donor conditionalities and policy advice itself, which is hugely influential in driving public sector spending cuts, a key factor affecting government revenue and spending is debt. The COVID crisis has hit at a time when countries are already struggling with the burden of debt and spending increasing shares of their Government revenue on debt repayments[30]. Cancelling debt payments is the fastest way to keep money in countries and free up resources to tackle the urgent and long-term health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Recent analysis from ActionAid International and Jubilee Debt Campaign estimated how much extra finance countries would have had in 2019 if their debt servicing was reduced to the acceptable threshold of 12 per cent of government revenues. Analysis showed that Bangladesh and Ghana, for example, would each have had over $5 billion to invest in public services every year and Kenya would have had over $4 billion a year in extra revenue. These sums would be transformative if invested in public services[31].


1.25     In understanding what a truly gender-responsive approach to COVID-19 meansan approach that the Secretary of State has committed to take[32]DFID must consider how the crisis can affect women with respect to their multiple roles in society, whether as workers, small-scale farmers, consumers, and – vitally – as the main givers of unpaid care and domestic work for households and communities. Women undertake over 76 per cent of all unpaid care work globally – with the burden greatest in contexts of poverty, where public services are lacking or inadequate[33]. This constrains the time that women have to secure work, engage in education, training, or community decision-making. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that, continuing present trends, it will take 209 years to close the gender gap in time spent on unpaid care work[34]. COVID-19 exacerbates this burden, with healthcare and other public services under even further strain.


1.26     Care for sick and elderly family members is a major part of the unpaid care and domestic work that tends to be borne by women. As family members fall ill, women are more likely to provide care, as recorded during an Ebola outbreak in Liberia[35], and with AIDS patients in Uganda[36], putting themselves at higher risk of exposure as well as sacrificing time that could be spend in education or paid work. Indeed, the Lancet estimates that women’s contribution to healthcare constitutes nearly five per cent of global GDP – or $3 trillion to global health – but nearly half is unpaid and unrecognised[37]. The difficulties of accessing health services that are often distant from home, with long queues and waiting lists and with prohibitive costs, exacerbates the burden.


1.27     The unpaid care work burden also leads to women’s increased exposure to sexual exploitation and violence. With sparser resources and more difficulty accessing water, food, firewood and medicines, women and girls will have to travel long distances and be at greater risk of harassment and violence[38]. When resources become scarce, due to supply chain disruption or income instability, violence such as intimate partner violence, early and forced child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) increase also[39]. This will have ongoing repercussions as child marriage leaves girls vulnerable to rape and abuse for the rest of their lives, reduces girls’ life expectancy and means they are less likely to access education at any point in their lives.


1.28     As long argued by women’s rights advocates and internationally recognised in the Sustainable Development Goal target 5.4, the provision of gender responsive public services is vital for women’s unequal care load to be reduced and redistributed from households and communities to the state. To be gender-responsive, public services – including health systems, water and sanitation, early childcare and educationshould be universally accessible, available, appropriate and adaptable[40]. This means they should be designed and delivered in consultation with women, recognising they are not a homogenous group and have both distinct needs and face multiple forms of discrimination. Vitally, governments should have the resources and policy space to finance their vital services systems such as health and social care in a way that ensures they have the necessary numbers of highly-trained health workers, medicines and infrastructure to match the needs of the population, and to ensure they are accessible to all, including to rural and under-served areas or populations. Improving public services is vital to progress on the fulfilment of girls’ and women’s rights – to education, to health and sexual and reproductive services, to water and sanitation – particularly in times of crisis, and their provision would reduce the unpaid care burden on women.


1.29     DFID’s work to date in bolstering international public health in response to the virus is welcome. As the UK Government has recognised in a statement to the Development Committee, convened jointly by the World Bank Group (WBG) and IMF, “the weakness of developing countries’ healthcare systems is one of the biggest risks to the global spread of the virus”. The UK’s announcement of up to £744 million to support the international response, including through developing a vaccine and ensuring the supply clean water, is particularly positive[41].


1.30     However, as part of its post-COVID-19 recovery strategy, it is critical that the UK’s trade ambitions do not undermine these efforts to support international public health and other basic services. The pandemic is an important litmus test for the UK’s Global Britain commitment to be a force for good in the world[42], by ensuring that the commercial interests do not trump human rights and global health considerations. The forthcoming Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and development will be an opportunity to ensure consistency across these agendas and mainstream gender equality objectives across ODA-spending UK government departments.


1.31     This means, for example, ensuring that trade deals forged with developing and emerging economies do not limit the fiscal policy space of governments in particular by constraining their ability to decide how to provision public services. This can be achieved by ensuring new trade deals with countries in the Global South do not include provisions which lock-in privatisation of vital services such as water and healthcare through such clauses as standstill and ratchet clauses, as well as clauses that open up opportunities to foreign firms to bid for government procurement contracts. Such provisions can make it almost impossible for countries to reverse privatisation in future even if there is a public need – such as a global pandemic – or a democratic demand to do so. As UN Women observes:


[P]rivatizing health care without guarantees of access for everyone has reduced services for women and pushed onto them additional care responsibilities for sick family members. This leaves them less time to care for themselves, and to pursue opportunities in school or work to improve their lives”[43].


1.32     Recommendations for UK Government:






2. The impact of the outbreak on UK aid funding in the longer term.


2.1              COVID-19 threatens to reverse development gains and to stall progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ActionAid are particularly concerned about the impact of the crisis on gender equality and women and girls’ rights. Emerging evidence suggesting COVID-19 will have distinctly gendered implications within the poorest and most marginalised communities, with the government themselves saying they are concerned about progress towards SDG 5 on gender equality[44]. It is vital then that, in the longer term, the UK government ensures the current proportion of UK aid spent on programmes that target gender equality as a policy objective is, at the very least, maintained and, ideally, increased[45]. DFID and other government departments (OGDs) responsible for aid spending must also work to mainstream gender across all their work[46].


2.2 ActionAid knows from experience that VAWG increases in emergency situations[47] and is likely to be exacerbated by social-distancing measures and reduced access to public services. To remedy this, both now and in the longer term, UK aid funding should be focused towards women’s rights organisations (WROs) in the Global South, with funding directed to the poorest and most vulnerable beneficiaries. Additionally, DFID and OGDs spending aid should ensure their programmes are shaped by the voices of those most familiar with the challenges we seek to address. Consultation with WROs can be done through national networks and must be meaningful, accountable and all costs, including time spent, should be fully repaid. The Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) network has produced a resource outlining what meaningful engagement looks like, particularly for women in conflict affected and fragile states[48].


2.3 More broadly, the COVID-19 crisis throws into sharp relief the need for UK aid funding to remain effective in its purpose and provide value for money for the UK taxpayer. As it stands, UK aid funding through DFID fares reasonably well[49]. This is also true of DHSC and BEIS, both of which, alongside DFID, meet the 2015 Aid Strategy target for all government departments spending aid to be ranked as ’good’ or, ’very good’ in the Aid Transparency Index within five years[50],[51]. OGDs reviewed scored fair’, ’poor’ or ’very poor’.


2.4 COVID-19 clearly shows that progress in international development is not a foregone conclusion. In the longer term, it should be a focus of the UK governments to ensure it is securing maximum aid effectiveness through its funding. This means ensuring that aid spending is fully transparent, can be held up to scrutiny and assessed for its impact. This in turn will ensure that, in what is likely to be a challenging economic context, the UK taxpayer can be confident the UK government is not only effectively addressing poverty and gender inequality but it is also securing value for money in its approach. Where the economy is impacted, the aid budget will be reduced and the imperative to spend every penny on poverty alleviation is even more essential than ever.


2.5  Recommendations for UK Government:






[1] CARE International, ‘Care Rapid Gender Analysis, 2020, available at: 

[2] See for example: Parke et al, ‘Leading the Way: Women-Led Localisation in Central Sulawesi: Towards Gender Transformative Action’, ActionAid, September 2019, available at:; Fletcher-Wood and Mutandwa, ‘Funding a localised, women-led approach to protection from Gender Based Violence: What is the data telling us?’, ActionAid, April 2019, available at:; Latimir and Mollett, ‘Not what she bargained for? Gender and the Grand Bargain’, ActionAid and CARE International, June 2018, available at:; Barclay et al, ‘On the frontline: catalysing women’s leadership in humanitarian action’, ActionAid, May 2017, available at:; H. Lindley-Jones, ‘Women responders: Placing local action at the centre of humanitarian protection programming’, Care International UK, November 2018, available at:; Lambert, Rhodes and Zaaroura, ‘A Feminist Approach to Localization: How Canada Can Support the Leadership of Women’s Rights Actors in Humanitarian Action’, Oxfam Canada, June 2018, available at:

[3] Yermo, F., ‘Promoting localised, women-led approaches to humanitarian responses’, ActionAid, June 2017, available at:

[4] Harman, S., ‘Ebola, Gender and conspicuously invisible women in global health governance‘, Third World Quarterly, Taylor and Francis Online, June 2015, available at:

[5] See for example: WGH, ‘Operation 50/50: Women’s Perspectives Saves Lives’, 2020, available at:; N. Schiegg and M. Ebrahimji, ‘Elevating women in the age of coronavirus, Apolitical, 6 March 2020, available at:; and Dieng, Twitter @SaalaJeng, 12:29, 29 March 2020, available at:

[6] UN Women (2020) ’Policy Brief: The Impact of Covid-19 on Women’,

[7] See for example: Davies and Bennett, ‘A gendered human rights analysis of Ebola and Zika: locating gender in global health emergencies', International Affairs Vol 92, August 2016, available at:; S. Harman, ‘Ebola, Gender and conspicuously invisible women in global health governance‘, Third World Quarterly, Taylor and Francis Online, June 2015, available at:; UN Women, ‘Paying attention to women’s needs and leadership will strengthen COVID-19 response’, March 2020, available at:

[8] Fletcher-Wood, E., and R. Mutandwa, ‘Funding a localised, women-led approach to protection from Gender Based Violence: What is the data telling us?’, ActionAid, April 2019, available at:

[9] Barclay et al, ‘On the Frontline: Catalysing women‘s leadership in humanitarian action, ActionAid, May 2016, available at:

[10] CARE International, ‘Care Rapid Gender Analysis’, 2020, available at: 

[11] GAPS, ‘Call to Action: Now and the Future: COVID-19 and Gender Equality, Global Peace and Security’, April 2020, available at:

[12] UNCTAD, ‘UN calls for $2.5 trillion coronavirus crisis package for developing countries’, 30 March 2020, available at:

[13] Ghanem, H., World Bank, ‘Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for African Economies and Development’, Webinar, Chatham House, April 2020

[14] ILO, ‘As job losses escalate, nearly half of global workforce at risk of losing livelihoods’, press release, 29 April 2020, available at:

[15] ILO, ‘Women and men in the informal economy: A statistical picture. Third edition’, 30 April 2018, available at:

[16] Labour behind the Label, ‘Let’s Clean up Fashion’, 2009, available at:

[17] WIEGO, ‘Impact of public health measures on informal workers livelihoods and health’, April 2020, available at:

[18] CARE International, Gendered implications of COVID-19 outbreaks in development and humanitarian settings, March 2020, available at:

[19] Jayasinghe D. and R. Noble, ‘Trading up, crowded out? Ensuring economic diversification works for women’, ActionAid, June 2016, available at:

[20] Labour behind the Label, ‘Let’s Clean up Fashion’, 2009, pp.6, available at:

[21] Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, ‘COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak: Supply chain workers’, April 2020, available at:

[22] Thura, M., COVID-19 leaves over 60,000 workers jobless in Myanmar’, Myanmar Times, 28 April 2020, available at:

[23] Kelly, A., ‘Primark and Matalan among retailers allegedly cancelling £2.4bn orders in ‘catastrophic’ move for Bangladesh’, The Guardian, 2 April 2020, available at:

[24] Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Bangladesh RMG Industry’, 26 April 2020, available at:

[25] Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, ‘Cambodia: ILO & key stakeholders launch “Action in the Global Garment Industry” plan to provide a coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic affecting 500,000 workers’, 26 April 2020, available at:

[26] Noble R., ‘Double Jeopardy: Violence against women and economic inequality’, ActionAid, March 2017, available at:

[27] ILO, ‘Decent Work’, available at:

[28] OHCHR, ‘Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights’, October 2019, available at:

[29] ActionAid, ‘Who Cares for the future?’, Report Summary, April 2020, available at:

[30] UNCTAD, COVID-19 is a matter of life and debt, a global deal needed’, 23 April 2020, available at:

[31] ActionAid, Who Cares for the future? April 2020

[32] Trevelyan, A.M., ‘To protect our own populations and economies from Covid-19, the world must work together’, The Telegraph, 9 April 2020, available at:

[33] Addati et al, ‘Care work and care jobs for the future of decent work’, ILO, 28 June 2018, available at:

[34]ILO, ‘A Quantum Leap for Gender Equality for a Better Future of Work For All’, 7 March 2019, available at:

[35] Mulvhill, K., ‘Why more women than men are dying in the Ebola outbreak’, Graphic Online, 23 August 2014, available at:

[36] Kipp et al, ‘Family Caregivers in Rural Uganda: The Hidden Reality’, Healthcare for Women International, Issue 10 Vol. 28, 6 November 2007, available at:

[37] Langer, A., ‘Women and Health: the key for sustainable development’, The Lancet, 4 June 2015, available at:

[38] Rothero M. and F. Yermo, ‘El Nino: The Silent Emergency’, ActionAid, May 2017, available at:

[39] Le Masson V., ‘Gender and resilience: From Theory to Practice’, BRACED, January 2017, available at:

[40]ActionAid, ‘Gender-Responsive Public Services’, available at:

[41] Development Committee (Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries), ‘Statement by Rt. Hon. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Secretary of State for International Development, and Rt. Hon. Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer’, Washington DC, 17 April 2020, available at:

[42] Raab, D., ‘Global Britain is leading the world as a force for good’, The Sunday Telegraph, 21 September 2019, available at:

[43] UN Women, ‘The Beijing Platform for Action Turns 20: Women and Health’, September 2015, available at:

[44] Baroness Sugg in response to Lord McConnell, House of Lords Oral Questions, 22 April 2020, available at:

[45] In April 2020, the National Audit Office stated: ”in 2018, DFID spent £4.2 billion of bilateral aid (66% of its total bilateral spend) on programmes that targeted gender equality as a policy objective”, available at:

[46] Gender and Development Network, ’GADN response to the National Audit Office Report Improving the lives of women and girls overseas”’, April 2020, available at:

[47] Fraser, F., ‘Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Violence against Women and Girls’, VAWG Helpdesk Research Report No. 284, 16 March 2020, available at:

[48] GAPS, Beyond Consultation tool, available at:

[49] Publish What You Fund, ‘Aid Transparency Index 2019’, available at:

[50] Publish What You Fund, ‘How Transparent is UK Aid? A review of ODA spending departments’, January 2020, available at:

[51] HM Treasury and DFID, ‘UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest, November 2015, available at: