Local Government COVID-19 Rapid Response Survey

Local Government COVID-19 Rapid Response Survey

Date: June 25, 2020
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The Centres of Excellence (COE) for Gender in Local Government COVID-19 Rapid Response Survey in nine Southern African countries sought to gather information on how Gender Links (GL) can support local authorities’ in mainstreaming gender into their responses to the pandemic. The sample covered 98 councils or 27% of the COEs that GL works with across the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Most of these are “hubs” or designated hubs in the COE programme. This means that they are the more seasoned COEs offering mentorship and support to neighbouring councils. Over two thirds of these councils have developed Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) strategies and or anchor the Sunrise Campaign – Economic Power to End Violence. GL is developing a Local Government Gender & SRHR checklist for COVID-19 and other public health emergencies with the COEs.

Key findings include:

  • Almost all the councils are open and functioning to various degrees during this pandemic.
  • So far only 33% have a COVID-19 response plan. Only 12% have a budget to fight COVID 19.
  • Participants in the Sunrise Campaign face closure of their businesses and severe impacts on their livelihoods, with the threat of a resurgence of domestic violence.
  • Despite the constraints, some councils are making valiant efforts to sustain their SRHR services and action plans.
  • Councils would welcome support in mainstreaming gender into their COVID action plans; public education and awareness; bolstering work on SRHR and supporting business rescue for participants in the Sunrise Campaign.

Download the Gender and COVID Rapid Response Audit.

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