Gendered impacts of the COVID-19: crisis in Uganda and opportunities for an inclusive and sustainable recovery

As Uganda builds back from the COVID-19 shock, the Ugandan government is strengthening its commitment to a more gender-inclusive and sustainable economy. This report supports these efforts by describing the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and provides recommendations for Ugandan policy makers and World Bank Group operations to ensure women’s participation in an inclusive and sustainable recovery. It presents gender-disaggregated data from three main sources: (1) high-frequency phone surveys that track the impacts of the COVID-19 shock: one of Ugandan nationals conducted in June and one of refugees conducted in November 2020; (2) interviews with 28 representatives of government institutions, development partners, and women’s organizations in Kampala and in rural areas; and (3) a review of relevant policy and gray literature on climate change, the green economy, and women’s economic empowerment. The report is structured in five sections: introduction in chapter one, chapter two describes the methodology and guiding questions. Chapter three gives an overview of Uganda’s policy environment for women’s economic empowerment and green growth. Chapter four covers the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on women, their coping mechanisms, and their sources of resilience. The analysis is broken down by sex, age, geography, and refugee status to describe the impacts of the COVID-19 shock across select subgroups. Chapter five identifies opportunities for Uganda to pursue a more gender-inclusive and green recovery, and concludes by offering policy recommendations.