The COVID-19
Sex-Disaggregated
Data Tracker

Tracking differences in COVID-19 infection, illness and death among women and men is essential to understanding the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Sex-Disaggregated Data Tracker is the world’s largest database of sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19. It is produced by Global Health 50/50, the African Population and Health Research Center and the International Center for Research on Women. Together, we are investigating what roles sex and gender are playing in the outbreak, building the evidence base of what works to tackle gender disparities in health outcomes, and advocating for effective gender-responsive approaches to COVID-19.

We’re tracking the latest sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19 from across the globe.

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.

As of 19 October 2020
  • have reported data on cases and deaths in past month
  • have reported either case or death data in past month
  • no sex-disaggregated data reported in past month
  • not yet tracked

Gender and sex are playing a crucial role in determining who is at risk of infection, severe illness and death from COVID-19.

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.

Defining Sex and Gender

Sex

Refers to biological characteristics that determine risk and response to disease, for instance driving hormonal responses, immunological characteristics, and response to vaccines.
Source

Gender

The UN defines gender as what is expected, allowed and valued in a woman or a man in a given context. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are context/time-specific and changeable.
Source

The ‘gender binary’ however is increasingly being rejected in many places to recognise, respect and embrace diverse gender identities.
Source

Gender influences exposure to risk (air pollution, smoking, alcohol), likelihood of risk reduction (e.g. seeking health care), as well as who benefits from the resources available (e.g. who can access health services, or who is likely to be providing care). Health outcomes and health systems reflect and reinforce gender biases and restrictive gender norms, compromising the safety and wellbeing of providers and the health of communities. Gender and social inequalities (based on class, race or ethnicity, etc) intersect and multiply these negative effects on both the health system and the communities they serve.
Source

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.

Why do men appear to be at more risk of severe illness and death?

At the global level, what does the data show?

For every 10 female...
...Cases
Across 126 countries
...there are
11
...there are 11 Cases in men

Cases in men
...Hospitalisations
Across 21 countries
...there are
12
...there are 12 Hospitalisations in men

Hospitalisations in men
...ICU admissions
Across 11 countries
...there are
18
...there are 18 ICU admissions in men

ICU admissions in men
...Deaths
Across 92 countries
...there are
14
...there are 14 Deaths in men

Deaths in men
...Confirmed cases that have died
Across 79 countries
...there are
14
...there are 14 Confirmed cases that have died in men

Confirmed cases that have died in men

“The Pandemic has finally opened our eyes to the fact that health is not driven just by biology, but by the social environment in which we all find ourselves and gender is a major part of that.”

Professor Sarah Hawkes
Co-Director of GH5050, in conversation with Common Thread

Our data powers research, advocacy and evidence-informed policy making.

Our dataset 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.

Use the data

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
https://globalhealth5050.org/the-sex-gender-and-covid-19-project/

Here are just a few of the organisations and outlets using our Tracker

An interview with Sarah Hawkes
Centre for feminist foreign policy - June 22
Gender and Covid
New York Times - April 14
World Business Report
BBC World Service - April 7
The gender question, the novel outbreak.
The China Current with James Chau - March 30
Are men more vulnerable to COVID-19?
Times of India - March 26

We’re pushing for more countries to collect and publicly report sex-disaggregated data.

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.

See our brief on why this data matters

If you think we’ve missed national sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19 in our tracker, please let us know at info@globalhealth5050.org.

Got questions?

Get in touch and send media requests to info@globalhealth5050.org

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