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The first confirmed COVID-19 patient in South Africa was a traveler returning from Italy who was diagnosed on March 5, 2020. Like most of its neighbours, South Africa responded swiftly by adopting a series of lockdown measures. The primary aim of these measures was to slow down the spread of the pandemic and give its health services an opportunity to prepare for the expected increase in cases. Comprehensive closures of educational institutions were in effect between mid-March and 24 August 2020, affecting approximately 14.6 million learners of all ages.

This report summarizes the findings of a Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview (CATI) rapid gender assessment (RGA) survey measuring the effects of COVID-19 on women and men in South Africa. The study was commissioned by UN Women and UNFPA to investigate the effects of COVID-19 and its associated movement restrictions on the socio-economic conditions of women and men, identify appropriate program interventions, and select advocacy messages that can be used to improve their well-being. See also the key highlights in infographics.