Gender Blind Spots in COVID-19 Containment and Mitigation Measures in Burkina Faso and Ghana

  • Akosua K. Darkwah University of Ghana
  • Dorte Thorsen University of Sussex
  • Madeleine Wayack Pambè Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo


This article unpacks the gendered impacts of the containment and mitigation
measures adopted in many countries to deal with the pandemic. Based on detailed
data on the inclusivity of measures taken to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 in
Burkina Faso and Ghana and the mitigation measures implemented to soften the
fallout, the paper analyses the impact on women and girls. We argue that women
occupy important micro-economic places in both countries, as breadwinners in
families, and in informal trade, which accounts for a considerable proportion of
the economy. However, there was little state recognition of the ripple effects of
the closures of borders, markets and schools on them. The lack of recognition of
gender differences and of the ways in which gender intersects with economic and
regional inequalities was reinforced in the mitigation policies as well, undermining
the advancement of gender equity goals made prior to the pandemic.