PMA Gender

Globally, gender inequalities persist across health, social, and economic systems and compromise sexual and reproductive health, economic development, and overall population health and development.  Gaps in women’s educational opportunities and gender stratification of the work force perpetuate gendered economic disparities.  Gender norms can constrain women’s agency and mobility and foster gender-based violence. Taken together, these gender inequities have critical implications for health, safety, economic stability, and autonomy - and represent actionable targets for change.  

COVID-19 & PMA Gender: Spotlight on Youth and Young Adults in Nairobi, Kenya

Gender inequalities can be exacerbated in emergencies such as the COVID-19 outbreak.

Despite growing demand, limited data exist on the gendered impact of COVID-19, particularly for youth and young adults who are undergoing life transitions that have been uniquely impacted by this pandemic.

In 2019, as part of the PMA Agile platform, unmarried adolescents and young adults in Nairobi, Kenya were recruited via respondent-driven sampling for participation in a baseline survey focused on contraceptive use.  This existing cohort provided an opportunity to track changes in contraceptive use over time and address key questions on the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The 2020 follow-up survey addresses 1) contraceptive changes since baseline, including those related to COVID-19, and 2) the gendered impact of COVID-19.  Qualitative data collection included focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with youth and key stakeholders.  A six-month follow-up survey in early 2021 will continue to track impact, and a text-message based mini-survey tracks a limited set of outcomes over the intervening period.

Results will be provided to local governments to produce actionable information and guide the public health response to COVID-19. Further analyses will incorporate baseline survey data with COVID-19 measures captured at follow-up.

This study provides insight on the gendered social, economic, and safety implications of COVID-19 among adolescents and young adults in Nairobi, Kenya.  Topics include:

  • Gender differences in COVID-19 risk perception and preventive behavior
  • Disruptions to health care, including sexual and reproductive health and menstrual hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Gender-based violence and safety in the COVID-19 era
  • Transactional partnerships and sex trade in the COVID-19 era
  • Economic and time-use impacts of COVID-19
  • Gender differences in mobility, privacy, and decisional autonomy in the COVID-19 era
  • Mental health among youth during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Contraceptive use dynamics and sexual and reproductive health care since 2019
  • Contraceptive autonomy and changes since 2019

This study brings together a collaborative team of experts across multiple disciplines, including gender equality, economic empowerment, gender-based violence, economic and social autonomy, adolescent health, and sexual and reproductive health: Johns Hopkins University, Kenyatta University Women’s Economic Empowerment Hub, and International Center for Reproductive Health Kenya. Our survey tools include gender equality and empowerment measures from the EMERGE Repository (Evidence-based Measures of Empowerment for Research on Gender Equality).

PMA participated in the symposium COVID-19 & Beyond: Accelerating the use of evidence to maximize opportunities to improve the health & livelihood of AY in Kenya. View the symposium recordings:

Day 1: Adolescent Youth SRHR & the Gendered Impact of COVID-19

Day 2: Gender-based violence, innovations & technology During COVID-19, lessons learned about AYSRH best practices

Watch The Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 Webinar

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View Survey Results Summary

Survey Results Summaries

PMA uses innovative mobile technology to support low-cost, rapid-turnaround surveys monitoring key health and development indicators. Surveys are completed by resident enumerators, uploaded to a central server via a mobile data network, cleaned and analyzed. Results are disseminated shortly after.

Country Survey Results Brief Indicators Report
Kenya PMA, Gender-Based Violence Technology Access, Abuse, & Compromised Privacy Among Youth English
Kenya PMA, Gender-Based Violence Help-Seeking & Help-Seeking Barriers English
Kenya PMA, Gender-Based Violence Among Youth in Nairobi English
Côte d’Ivoire PMA, Phase 3, Gender Based Violence, 2023 French English
Burkina Faso PMA, Phase 2, Gender Based Violence 2022 French English
Democratic Republic of Congo PMA, Reproductive Coercion, 2022 English French
Kenya PMA, Reproductive Coercion English French
Côte d’Ivoire PMA, Phase 2, Gender-Based Violence, 2021 French English
Kenya COVID & Gender Study Key Results English
Kenya COVID Access to Health & Contraception English

Research in Gender


PMA has a variety of publications including briefs, reports and overview documents  that may be used to inform health policy and programming decisions. Listed below are publications authored by PMA faculty, students, staff, and partners that draw upon PMA data. 

For a full list of publications that use PMA data, please visit our Google Scholars page.

Click here to view our survey results summaries.