Gender & COVID-19: Sexual and reproductive health rights

Covid-19 Our Work Downloadables


During emergency states and disease outbreaks, access to sexual and reproductive health services is impacted by disrupted supply and service provisions and new guidelines regarding self-isolation and lockdowns.


Illustration of three women from different ethnicities: an Indian, an Asian woman, and a colour woman holding up a child. In the middle, a Black, pregnant woman followed by a fat woman on the right side.

Inadequate access to healthcare not only contributes to women’s lack of autonomy and power over their sexual and reproductive lives but also results in further negative, long-term outcomes.

For example, with more women unable to access sexual and reproductive health services, it’s estimated this will lead to an increase in unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

Furthermore, during emergency states and disease outbreaks, reproductive and sexual health resources are deemed less important and resources can be diverted to other emergency response needs. Responses to COVID-19 must take into account the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls around the globe.

Infographic of SRH in Covid-19: Illustration of a red factory surrounded by illustrations of IUD, a cargo ship and a plane to illustrate the supply chain. In the middle, illustrations of women with different backgrounds organised in a line: an Indian, an Asian, a colour woman holding up a child, a Black pregnant woman and a fat woman. At the bottom, an outlined map of Sierra Leone with data information and the illustration of a Black woman holding her baby in the back with a girdle and a younger Black woman by her side.