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WHO hails women's role in fighting pandemic

Women make up 70% of global health workforce, says World Health Organization Africa director

Rodrigue Forku   | 04.03.2021
WHO hails women's role in fighting pandemic File Photo

YAOUNDE, Cameroon

Women have stepped up efforts to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic with courage and compassion, the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa director said Thursday.

Speaking at a virtual news conference on the impact of COVID-19 on women in Africa ahead of International Women's Day celebrated on March 8 every year, Matshidiso Moeti said: "They [women] make up 70% of the global health workforce, and many women are on the frontlines, especially as nurses and community health workers."

This year, the theme for International Women's Day, Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, celebrates the efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the pandemic, highlighting the gaps that remain, according to UN Women.

"Our analysis of 28 countries finds on average 41% of COVID-19 cases are women. Of course, this varies across countries," Moeti said, adding that the findings of several studies have shown that women are more likely than men to adhere to preventive measures.

"Women are showing impressive leadership in politics and the private sector. They have mobilized strongly against COVID-19 and other health issues," the health official added.

She said the WHO is working with governments to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of essential gender-responsive services, adding: "We are training health workers to support women suffering from gender-based violence."

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