COVID-19, SRHR and Gender Equality

Share-Net International has set up an international Community of Practice (iCoP) on COVID-19 SRHR and Gender Equality to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on SRHR and gender equality and to ensure the inclusion of a gender perspective in response and recovery planning. This iCoP is a collaboration between Share-Net members from all country hubs as well as international members.


Call for participation

On the 17th of April 2020, we shared a call for participation with all Share-Net members and on our social media channels Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. This resulted in a response of 90 interested individuals from Bangladesh, Burundi, Cameroon, India, Jordan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and the United States.

First online meeting

Due to the large response, we had a first online Zoom meeting on May 28th. The online meeting aimed to

  • become familiar with the concept of an iCoP (including the roles of iCoP members, possible activities, and available funds).
  • decide upon more specific topics under the umbrella term “COVID-19, SRHR and Gender Equality” that smaller subgroups could work on.
  • discuss further steps in setting up these smaller specific subgroups.

Between 35 and 45 enthusiastic and engaged people joined the first online meeting. We brainstormed and discussed the most crucial topics and activities that the iCoP could work on. On this basis, the following subgroups were formed:

  1. GBV and harmful traditional practices
  2. SRHR in fragile and humanitarian settings
  3. Intersectionality
  4. Post-COVID world: Advocacy for the future
  5. Contraception and abortion
  6. Empowerment & Gender Equality
  7. Integration WASH and SRHR

You can (re-)watch the recording here!

Granted proposals

The subgroups have worked hard on proposals to receive a grant of up to 20,000 euros for a project or activities related to COVID-19, SRHR, and Gender Equality. The Share-Net International secretariat has critically assessed the proposals based on quality, feasibility, relevance, cost-efficiency, and innovation and granted 6 proposals.

  1. Balanced Stewardship Development Association (BALSDA) (in collaboration with Organization for Health in Sustainable Development (OHISD))
    Improving access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Fragile and Humanitarian settings in Nigeria and Cameroon during COVID-19 pandemic

    1. To develop knowledge products (toolkits) for managing and improving the quality of SRHR services in fragile and humanitarian settings during the COVID-19 and future epidemics in two countries.
    2. To develop a clear COVID-19 SRHR call to action for policymakers and service providers towards improving SRH policy and healthcare services in fragile and humanitarian settings in two countries during this COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Working Party International Safe Motherhood & Reproductive Health (in collaboration with UMC Utrecht, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Speak & Act and an independent consultant)
    Factors influencing access around contraception and abortion services during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands: a mixed-method study.
    Objective: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to contraception and safe abortion services for women of reproductive age in Iran, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands, in order to develop a range of written and digital knowledge products by December 2020 to inform relevant stakeholders on improving the access to contraception and safe abortion.
  3. VU University, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (in collaboration with Transgender Network Netherlands (TNN))
    Trans and hijra lives in times of COVID-19
    Objective: To examine and understand the impact of COVID-19 on the socio-economic position, problems with housing, access to healthcare services and experiences of domestic and public violence among transgender communities in the Netherlands and Bangladesh through exploratory qualitative research. The findings of this research will form the basis for the development of a research paper with policy recommendations.
  4. Individual member of Share-Net International & Women Deliver Young Leader (in collaboration with Joy Amani Center and Ruwwad for Development)
    Menstruation Shouts: Exploring the menstrual experiences influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic in disadvantaged communities in Egypt and Kenya.
    Objective: To explore and document the Menstrual Health experiences and challenges of menstruating healthcare workers in the COVID-19 frontline response and menstruating adolescent girls in the community who are under the stay-at-home measures in Egypt and Kenya in order to inform best practices and program design of prioritizing the integration of menstrual health in the SRHR response during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Center for Men and Masculinities Studies (in collaboration with RedOrange, UNYSAB, Public Health Foundation, and Funtaseum)
    BraveMen Campaign on COVID-19
    Objective: To initiate an online policy dialogue on the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic concerning gender-based violence involving CoPs from Bangladesh, Burundi, Jordan, and the Netherlands. The policy dialogues in the form of webinars will be closely tied to experience sharing and generating a better understanding of how to prevent violence against girls, women, and SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) people during the pandemic like COVID-19 ensuring better SRHR services and awareness.
  6. BRAC James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University (in collaboration with Manusher Jonno Foundation)
    Life in the times of coronavirus: a gendered perspective
    To capture and curate the life stories and experiences of men and women in both rural and urban Bangladesh during the times of the novel coronavirus global pandemic. The findings will be the basis for

    1. An initial draft process of a much-needed gender and SRHR policy in crisis times in Bangladesh
    2. A high-quality podcast series that will function as an advocacy tool.

Join us!

Currently, the subgroups are working on carrying out the granted projects. Next to that, we hold 6-weekly plenary meetings in which iCoP members discuss their work, challenges in relation to COVID-19, network, and co-create materials. For more information, please click here.

Are you interested in joining the iCoP on COVID-19, SRHR, and Gender Equality? Please let us know by sending an email to The facilitator of the subgroup will get back to you!

Resources on COVID-19, SRHR and Gender Equality

Click here for resources on COVID-19, SRHR and Gender Equality.

If you would like to submit resources on COVID-19, SRHR and Gender Equality yourself, you can do so via this submission form. Please make sure to include the original source of the resource in the content box.