COVID-19 Increases Suffering Of Women, Children In Conflict Zones; Study Raises Concerns For Pregnant Women With Novel Coronavirus; Women Under-Represented On Pandemic Task Forces

Al Jazeera: Coronavirus testing may not reach women in conflict zones: IRC
“Big gaps between the number of male and female coronavirus cases in parts of Africa and the Middle East suggest that women may be struggling to access testing or care, an aid agency said on Wednesday. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, more than 70 percent of reported cases were male, compared with a global average of 51 percent, and the same was true in the Central African Republic, Chad, and Somalia, said the International Rescue Committee (IRC)…” (6/24).

IPS: COVID-19 Increases Suffering of Children in Conflict
“The current coronavirus pandemic is having a profound affect on children in conflict zones — with girls especially being at higher risk of violence and sexual health concerns. ‘For adolescent girls specifically, these disruptions can have profound consequences, including increased rates of pregnancy and child, early, and forced marriage,’ Shannon Kowalski, director of advocacy and policy at the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), told IPS…” (Sadeque, 6/25).

New York Times: Study Raises Concerns for Pregnant Women With the Coronavirus
“Pregnant women infected with the coronavirus are more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to an intensive care unit and put on a ventilator than are infected women who are not pregnant, according to a new government analysis. … The increased risk for intensive care and mechanical ventilation worried experts. But the new study did not include one pivotal detail: whether pregnant women were hospitalized because of labor and delivery. That may have significantly inflated the numbers, so it is unclear whether the analysis reflects a true increase in risk of hospitalization…” (Mandavilli, 6/24).

NPR: Where The Women Aren’t: On Coronavirus Task Forces
“There are 27 members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Only two are women: Dr. Deborah Birx and Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It’s a gender breakdown that’s echoed around the world. For example, 10 of the 31 members and advisers of the World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee on COVID-19 are women, and of the 25 members of the WHO-China joint mission on COVID-19, 20% are women…” (Gharib, 6/24).