This brief reports on preliminary findings of the Gender and COVID-19 Research Project in Nigeria. It provides a snapshot of results from qualitative research conducted through in-depth interviews among women with disabilities to understand how they experienced the differential impact of COVID-19. Findings are organized according to thematic areas of the COVID-19 gender matrix, applying an intersectional analysis that considers gender alongside additional equity factors. Findings highlight the need for improved support in the home, access to information, health services, economic empowerment, and protection from sexual and gender-based violence.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, women with disabilities already faced discrimination as women and as persons with a disability. They had poor access to healthcare, including sexual reproductive health, higher risks of sexual and gender-based violence, higher unemployment rates and limited inclusion in leadership and decision-making platforms and opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these challenges for many women with disabilities resulting in increased burdens around mobility, support, and care. These data come from qualitative interviews conducted among women with disabilities in Lagos State. A total of eight in depth interviews were conducted in April 2021. Interviews provide illustrative examples of how the respondents have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were purposefully recruited through organizations for persons with disabilities. Oral and/or written consent was obtained, and interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis. Thematic analysis was used for the rapid dissemination of results for policymakers.