Gender Data Series:

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls

About the series

The COVID-19 outbreak has uncovered pressure points impacting women and girls across an array of key issues including rise of gender-based violence and inequality, increased risks faced by female health workers on the frontline of the fight, and limited access to sexual and reproductive health services.

This series, produced in partnership with Devex, Facebook and WFP, is designed to create a better understanding of the gender-related issues highlighted by the current pandemic and to share important lessons learned about how data can help inform better responses to the current crisis.


Event 01 – How data can mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls.

May 12, 2020

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have been more willing to share their data. This development is timely, given that the need for data-driven approaches - allowing greater impact and agility - is more critical than ever, particularly for women and girls.

However, many organizations and governments lack the resources and skills needed to be truly data driven. The availability of online capacity building resources is therefore essential — especially in the current context, with travel and social interaction impossible in many places.

Join Devex and Facebook to kick off the series with a practical virtual event where our expert panelists will set the tone and pivot the discussion on harnessing data, examining case studies, and sharing successful lessons learned from across the globe.

+ See the full illustration created during the event


Tara Cookson, Ladysmith

Emily Courey Pryor, Data2X

Papa Seck, UN Women

Moderator: Kelli Rogers, Devex

Event 03 – Sending support where it's needed most: Using data to support health care workers.

May 26, 2020

Across societies struck by COVID-19, health care workers are on the frontlines, facing increased pressure from overburdened health systems as well as higher personal risks due to a lack of personal protective equipment.

From telemedicine to virtual training, to surveillance and health risk mitigation, data-driven tools can play an important role in supporting health workers in their efforts to respond to the pandemic. Some professionals are using WhatsApp and video calls to keep in touch with patients, while organizations have had to swiftly adapt existing technology to provide health staff with the necessary information and training needed to safely respond to this crisis.

In this virtual event, we’ll explore how organizations can use data to support health care workers — 70% of whom are women — to do their jobs better, more efficiently, and more safely.


Caitlin Augustin, DataKind

Roopa Dhatt, Women in Global Health

Pamela McQuide, IntraHealth

Moderator: Jessica Abrahams, Devex

Event 05 – Ensuring women’s representation in COVID-19 policymaking

June 9, 2020

The knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately affected women and girls, yet they are underrepresented in the governance of epidemic management. In order to guarantee an appropriate response to both the social and economic consequences of the pandemic, women’s equal and meaningful participation in the formulation of such plans and in decision-making needs to be at the forefront.

This virtual event will discuss why there’s an urgent need to integrate women in COVID-19 policymaking and highlight some of the work that has already been done to advance their voices in not only the response to this pandemic, but also long-term recovery efforts.


Anne Connell, Equal measures 2030

Jo Hemmings, Girl Effect

Scheaffer Okore, Development Advisor

Moderator: Jessica Abrahams, Devex

Event 07 – Using data to support women entrepreneurs during COVID-19

June 30, 2020

Shattered markets and decreased mobility are threatening many women-led small businesses during COVID-19. Social distancing measures, disrupted supply chains, and decreasing global demand for certain goods have already had a detrimental impact on women entrepreneurs around the world, intensifying existing barriers such as limited access to finance and lack of social safety nets.


Paula Gonzalez Martinez, World Bank

Pamela Bella Nyamutoka Katooro, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction

JW Schneider, Facebook

Sreelakshmi Papineni, World Bank

Moderator: Kelli Rogers, Devex

Event 09 – Using data to advance women and girls' education post-pandemic

July 14, 2020

It’s estimated that 1.5 billion students, including more than 100 million girls in low- and middle-income countries, have been out of school for weeks and months at a time due to closures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus. During the COVID-19 pandemic, girls are more likely to have been burdened with additional responsibilities around the home or experienced gender-based violence. Experts also believe there’s been a rise in the number of early marriages among vulnerable families, as the “bride price” could help supplement livelihoods now at risk. This, along with teen pregnancies, often means girls are taken out of the education system permanently. This event will dive deeper into how data can help organizations better understand which girls are most at risk of not returning to school and where they are. It will also explore how data can help inform interventions to support girls' education and tackle some of the structural barriers threatening their access to education post-pandemic.


Sunita Grote, UNICEF Innovation (Venture) Fund

Safeena Husain, Educate Girls

Hamzat “Hamzy” Bala Lawal, Connected Development

Laban Onisimus, Plan International Nigeria

Moderator: Emma Smith, Devex

Event 02 – How unconventional data can inform gender-based violence responses

May 19, 2020

Reports of violence against women — particularly domestic violence — have increased in several countries as security, health, and money worries create tensions heightened by the cramped and confined living conditions of lockdown.

Data is playing and will play an important role in ensuring women can access the support and services they need, yet many small organizations are facing questions they haven't before: Can online platforms offer a safe space for women to report abuse without alerting perpetrators? Is it OK to survey by telephone? And how can unconventional resources, such as social media data, help organizations collect necessary information and more effectively respond to the surge in gender-based violence?

During this virtual event, you’ll hear from two experts working closely to accelerate the response and ensure the safety of women and girls around the globe.


Emily Janoch, CARE

Henriette Jansen, UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office

Laura Scanlon, Maido

Moderator: Kelli Rogers, Devex

Event 04 – Using data to support women's mental health during COVID-19.

June 2, 2020

Although the current COVID-19 pandemic is – first and foremost – a physical health challenge, it runs the risk of also creating a major mental health crisis if not managed and addressed correctly.

Women make up around 70% of the health workforce and the burden of taking care of sick family members has disproportionately fallen on them. Increases in domestic violence and abuse – amplified by lockdowns and closure of safe spaces – have also put women’s mental health at greater risk.

Join us for this virtual event to learn more about how data can help inform interventions to support the mental health of women and girls during COVID-19.


Sean Mayberry, StrongMinds

Sarah Mosely, International Rescue Commitee

Mwende Mwendwa, Mental and Emotional Wellness Practitioner

Moderator: Emma Smith, Devex

Event 06 – Using data to support women migrants and refugees during COVID-19.

June 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of millions of people globally, and specifically those of displaced women and children. Even before this global health crisis, more than 70 million displaced people — at least half of whom are women and girls — were already struggling to access the most basic services.

Displacement reinforces pre-existing discrimination and socio-economic disadvantages women and girls often face, alongside the greater challenges than men and boys in staying safe, finding work, and accessing education and medical services.

This event will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on displaced women and girls, exploring how data can help ensure responses to the pandemic take into account their specific problems and needs.


Norah Bagirinka, public speaker & advocate for women and children’s rights

Christelle Cazabat, researcher, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

Devon Cone, Refugees International

Federico Soda, IOM

Moderator: Rebecca Root, Devex

Event 08 – Using data to ensure maternal and reproductive health during COVID-19.

July 7, 2020

Measures taken to prevent and treat COVID-19 have severely impacted women’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Restrictions on trade and mobility have led to disrupted supply chains across the globe, and many countries have seen stockouts of contraceptives and other essential medicines.

In addition to the challenges facing women’s health during this pandemic, this event will look at how data can be used to improve access to SRHR services. It will also explore the role of data in ensuring strong supply chains for life-saving drugs and contraceptives.


Raman Shrestha, Marie Stopes International

Dr. Renae Stafford, Touch Foundation

Emily Thacher, mPharma

Paulin Tra, International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa

Moderator: Natalie Donback, Devex

Event 10 – Building back better: Using data to ensure the wellbeing of women and girls post-pandemic.

July 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created huge risks to women and girls and challenges for organizations and governments working to support them. But the disruption also provides an opportunity for a reset – for building better systems that are more resilient and responsive to the needs of women and girls after the pandemic.

Join us as we take stock of insights from the Gender Data event series and shine a light on some of the crucial next steps and the role of data in solving some of the challenges facing women and girls today.


Laura McGorman, Facebook

Eileen Mokaya, Pathfinder

Juan Daniel Oviedo, National Administrative Department of Statistics, Colombia

Agnieszka Rawa, Millennium Challenge Corporation

Moderator: Jessica Abrahams, Devex

Produced by



Devex is the media platform for the global development community. A social enterprise, we connect and inform over one million development, health, humanitarian, and sustainability professionals through news, business intelligence, and funding & career opportunities so you can do more good for more people.

Event Partner



Facebook builds technologies to give people the power to connect with friends and family, find communities and grow businesses. Working with gender equality organizations and experts, we help provide real-time and representative data and close the gender data gap. Our goal is to increase the availability and use of gender data, which is critical to guiding the development of inclusive policies, programs and services, and for tracking progress on achieving gender equality.

Content Partner

World Food Programme (WFP)

World Food Programme (WFP)

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP aims to bring food assistance to more than 80 million people in 75 countries. As the United Nations frontline agency in the fight against hunger, WFP is continually responding to emergencies. But WFP also works to help prevent hunger in the future. They do this through programmes that use food as a means to build assets, spread knowledge and nurture stronger, more dynamic communities. WFP has developed expertise in a range of areas including Food Security Analysis, Nutrition, Food Procurement and Logistics to ensure the best solutions for the world’s hungry.

Get in touch

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