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Current Women`s Health Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-4048
ISSN (Online): 1875-6581

Review Article

Impact of COVID-19 on Gender Equality, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Adolescent Girls and Young Women: A Narrative Review

Author(s): Naina Kumar* and Amit Kant Singh

Volume 18, Issue 3, 2022

Article ID: e111021194532 Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/1573404817666210707094622

Price: $65


Adolescent girls and young women constitute a vulnerable population worldwide and an easy target to secondary impacts of a pandemic due to societal norms, existing age, and gender- based inequalities, leading to a condition known as “second pandemic”. Due to local and national lockdowns to prevent coronavirus spread, educational institutions, workplaces, health services have been shut down making adolescent girls and women prone to sexual, physical exploitation, gender-based violence, educational, financial loss, lack of sexual and reproductive health services. The present review briefs some of these secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent girls and women, which if taken care of can prevent many long-term consequences. Methodology: The literature was searched from governmental, non-governmental sites and agencies, like WHO, UN, UNICEF, Guttmacher Institute, International Labor Organization, and English peer-reviewed journals, using the USA National Library of Medicine (Pubmed) database, the regional portal of Virtual Health Library, and Scientific Electronic Library Online. The data from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic till March 2021 on the impact of COVID-19 on women and children was searched and studied. The descriptors used were school drop-out children, adolescent girls, women suffering at home/work, unmet need for contraception, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, child marriages, and female genital mutilation. Results and Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a “hidden pandemic” against women and children. There is a skyrocketing rise in violence against women/girls, teenage pregnancies, school drop-outs, child marriages, abuse, female genital mutilation. Hence, women and adolescent girls should be protected from the shadowing effects of the pandemic.

Keywords: Adolescent, domestic violence, pandemic, sexual rights, teenage pregnancy, female genital mutilation.

Graphical Abstract
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