Understanding the role sex and gender are playing in the covid-19 outbreak is essential to building an effective, equitable response to the pandemic. This tracker presents the sex-disaggregated data being reported by governments. Despite clear gender differences in COVID-19 health outcomes, not all governments are reporting data separately by women and men.
Differences in women’s and men’s bodies due to their sex (biology) is playing a role in people’s risk of illness and death due to COVID-19. To attribute gender differences in COVID-19 outcomes solely to biology however ignores the role that social environments, structures and norms are playing, and obscures the actions that can be taken to address these drivers.
Further, sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data does not report or account for gender identity, therefore data are absent on the impact of COVID-19 on transgender and non-binary people. Some efforts are in place to redress this gap. Without this information, the specific health care needs of people with diverse gender identities cannot be identified, the health disparities they experience cannot be addressed, and important health care services may not be delivered.
Globally, there’s no clear trend in terms of who is most likely to become infected by COVID-19. However, across the vast majority of countries, a clear pattern in mortality has emerged; men appear more likely than women to die from COVID-19 once infected. This pattern varies by country and may be changing over time.
For every 10 female...
Across 18 countries
...there are 8 male Tests
Across 183 countries
...there are 10 male Cases
Across 77 countries
...there are 12 male Hospitalisations
Across 20 countries
...there are 17 male ICU admissions
male ICU admissions
Across 140 countries
...there are 13 male Deaths
|...Confirmed cases that have died
Across 129 countries
...there are 15 male Confirmed cases that have died
male Confirmed cases that have died
Across 114 countries
...there are 10 male Vaccinations
The pandemic was not an “equal opportunities” event. Evidence since the beginning of the pandemic highlighted the impact of demographic characteristics on the distribution of risk, access to treatment, and outcomes (including severity of illness and risk of death). However, there is a dearth of data on how the pandemic affected different populations. We have examined the availability of data from 205 countries and built a repository of data that is disaggregated by sex, age, and other characteristics. Here is what we found.
|People at higher risk
|Race or ethnicity
|People living with disability
|Socio-economic status or poverty status
|Pregnant and/or breastfeeding women
|Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) or Refugees
|TOTAL countries reporting any data for this characteristic
Considering gender and equity in policy responses improves health outcomes for everyone.
The Sex, Gender and COVID-19 Health Policy Portal offers the most comprehensive review of the recognition of and response to sex and gender in national COVID-19 public health policies. Launched in the context of mounting calls for governments to adopt gender-responsive approaches to the pandemic, the Policy Portal finds little evidence that sex and gender have been considered in policies that directly impact people’s health outcomes.
Our COVID-19 Sex-Disaggregated Data Tracker offers the most comprehensive country-level reporting of sex-disaggregated data. It is used by researchers, media, UN organisations and advocates to inform our global understanding of who is at risk along the pathway of infection through to severe illness and death, as well as to encourage countries to prioritise reporting of sex-disaggregated data as part of their COVID-19 response.
Our COVID-19 Health Policy Portal provides the most comprehensive analysis of national COVID-19 health policies from a gender, equity and human rights lens globally as well as offering a repository of national policies across six key areas. Governments, decision-makers, researchers, advocates and funders are encouraged to explore the Policy Portal’s global index, country profiles and policy area-specific pages to compare policy approaches, promote knowledge sharing and push for gender-responsive policies moving forwards.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. If you use our data, we kindly request that you cite us using:
The COVID-19 Sex-Disaggregated Data Tracker
The Sex, Gender and COVID-19 Health Policy Portal
We encourage you to join us in pushing policy-makers and health authorities to report sex-disaggregated data and design more gender-responsive COVID-19 approaches.
If you think we’ve missed national sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19 in our tracker, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.