WeWorld Index 2020: Women and children in times of Covid-19

Originally published


In 110 out of 172 countries women and children are experiencing forms of exclusion (in 49 countries serious or very serious forms of exclusion, 1 country out of 3). The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a limitation of fundamental rights for women and children in the world with a very strong negative impact on the access to generalised education in all countries.

These are the main results of the 2020 edition of the WeWorld Index, the annual report that measures the level of inclusion of women and children in 172 countries worldwide through 34 indicators, conducted by WeWorld – a non-governmental organisation that has been working for more than 50 years to guarantee the rights of women and children in 27 countries, including Italy. The report includes an in-depth analysis of the impact of Covid on the education of children and adolescents.

The sixth edition of the WeWorld Index photographs the world at the time of Covid-19 with the addition of 3 new indicators measuring the impact of covid-19 on health, education and the economy. It shows that 2 out of 3 countries do not guarantee a dignified life for the most vulnerable: more violence, less access to education and health care and a lack of a healthy environment to grow up in are the characteristics of countries most at risk. In 2020, countries with an insufficient level of inclusion increased by 5%, which means that if the pace remains steady, by 2030 we will have another 26 countries below average/not able to ensure sufficient levels of inclusion for women and children.


  • Between 2015 and 2020, the number of countries below the WeWorld Index average score increased by 5%. If we assume a steady trend over the next 10 years, by 2030 the number of countries below the average will have increased by 15% (around 26 countries more). Globally, the inclusion of women and children is still insufficient. This means that globally 1 in 3 countries cannot guarantee a dignified life for women and children.
  • According to current estimates, a 25% increase in violence against women during lockdown has been reported in those countries where reporting systems are in place.
  • Up to 85 million more children are at risk of physical, sexual or emotional violence than before the epidemic, following months of global lockdown.
  • Globally, the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures have led to a 20% reduction in the provision of essential health services.
  • More than 11 million girls may not return to school after the Covid-19 crisis, putting them at risk of early pregnancy, abuse and child marriage.
  • More than 117 million children will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2020 due to Covid.
  • In Italy, almost 70% of the young people WeWorld works with in the suburbs have neither a PC/tablet nor an Internet connection at home. In order to provide support for these young people, WeWorld has worked to make extensive use of other forms of digital support (WhatsApp, telephone calls), has set up a telephone support line for children and families, and has actively involved all educational actors (teachers, educators, parents, etc.)

Would you like to explore the results further? Please use our dashboard at, to interact with the data from the WeWorld Index 2020.