COVID-19 and Masculinities in Global Perspective: Reflections From Promundo’s Research and Activism

COVID-19 has affected individuals and communities in gendered ways. A spike in men’s violence against women has been documented in multiple settings. Women have faced disproportionate job losses in many countries. Men have died at higher rates from COVID-19 for both biological and social causes. Masculinist responses by some national leaders and men’s lower propensity to adhere to COVID-19 related health recommendations are also gendered. Research further confirms that both women and men in the context of heterosexual households increased their time devoted to unpaid care, even as women’s increases were generally higher. In the face of these challenges, some NGOs increased programming to engage men in violence prevention and carried out advocacy to promote men’s more equitable participation in unpaid care work. As the world recovers from the pandemic in 2021, an understanding of how masculinities, gender norms, and power dynamics affect recovery will be vital.