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New Data on How the Coronavirus Has Affected African Women

A preliminary analysis by the World Health Organization in 28 African countries shows that women account for a slightly smaller proportion of COVID-19 infections and deaths compared with men. The analysis based on COVID-19 gender specific epidemiological data provided by countries found that although women account for around 41% of COVID-19 cases, this ranges from 31% in Niger to over 57% in South Africa. In most countries, women are somewhat less likely to die from COVID-19 than men. For instance, in Cote d’Ivoire the case fatality ratio stands at 0.4% for women compared with 0.5% in men, while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo it is 2.2% versus 2.7% and 0.1% versus 0.5% in Seychelles. This comes despite women accounting for a large part of the health workforce which puts them at higher risk of infection. In Africa, more than 95 000 health workers have been infected with COVID-19. In Seychelles, women account for 71% of health worker infections, 64% in Eswatini, 55% in Cote d’Ivoire and 54% in Senegal.