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Rapid Gender Analysis during COVID-19 Pandemic: Mekong Sub-Regional Report - Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam (September 2020)

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Executive summary

The Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) was first detected in Hubei province, China, in late December 2019, and has since spread to 213 countries and territories around the world.1 As of 31 August 2020, there were 25,405,845 confirmed cases globally, and 849,389 deaths.2 There have been 5,612 cases in the Mekong region – Cambodia (274), Lao PDR (22), Myanmar (882), Thailand (3,390) and Viet Nam (1,044).

This unprecedented crisis unfolds against many existing challenges including persistent gender inequalities, existing inequalities in access to health, weak health infrastructures, and a high risk of secondary disasters in the region. COVID-19 presents a range of contextual challenges, that will have a greater impact on the most vulnerable, such as for migrant workers, indigenous and ethnic minorities, refugees and internally displaced peoples, migrants, urban slum-dwellers, and people working in the informal sector.4 As with all crises, women and children are disproportionately impacted.

The purpose of this Rapid Gender Analysis during COVID-19 is to analyse and better understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, men, girls, boys and specific at-risk groups in the Mekong region.

Country-level Rapid Gender Analysis was conducted in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet Nam, Myanmar and Thailand using primary and secondary data collection that took place between 15 April and 28 May 2020.
The report outlines the key findings; commonalities and differences across the countries to provide a regional perspective on the impacts of COVID-19 on women, men, boys, girls and at-risk groups in the Mekong. The report placed a specific focus on: migrant workers, garment factory workers, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and people working in the informal sector, such as female sex workers.