Is the COVID-19 pandemic having a greater effect on women than men?

Is the COVID-19 pandemic having a greater effect on women than men?

COVID-19 has been described as non-discriminatory. The virus can be carried by and transmitted to people of all countries, regions, ethnicities, cultures, religions, ages, races, belief systems, socioeconomic statuses, professions, and genders.

Levels of risk, post-infection outcomes, recovery, and mortality rates, however, can be influenced by some of these factors1. Data shows, for example, that older generations and those with underlying medical conditions are more at risk physically when infected with COVID-192. Recent reports have also shown that 68% of worldwide deaths from COVID-19 to date have been male2. Explanations for this distinction have included stronger immune systems in women, and differences in lifestyle choices between the genders3.

Women, however, are being affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 in less obvious ways. These repercussions are being felt primarily as a result of vocational and professional choices; pay inequalities; care duties; and access to healthcare.

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  1. People who are at higher risk for severe illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. people-at-higher-risk.html. Accessed April 14, 2020.
  2. COVID-19 weekly surveillance report. World Health Organisation, Regional Office for Europe. Data for the week of 30 March - 5 April 2020 (Epi week 14). http://www. Accessed April 14, 2020.
  3. In N.Y.C., the Coronavirus Is Killing Men at Twice the Rate of Women. New York Times. April 7, 2020. Accessed April 16, 2020.