COVID-19 Gender Matrix

The matrix below list examples of the intersectional impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and response. To see further examples click on the intersecting domains. The matrix will be updated regularly. If there are examples you think should be included please email

Hong Kong

Access to Resources

Labour/Roles Norms/Beliefs Power  Institutions/ Laws
Risk ‘Virus Shut Out’, a complete scam machine claiming to kill any kind of virus still in market despite bans around world Hong Kong pupils continue return to school despite concerns over coronavirus outbreak, parents believe teaching has resumed too soon amid infection Loneliness epidemic’ strikes at elderly residents face mental health problems from months of not seeing family members due to  restrictions imposed by homes on visitors, activities have worked to keep elderly safe Hong Kong is in the frontline where human rights crackdown happened Evacuation of public housings
Illness/ Treatment Future waves inevitable without a vaccine Epidemic exposes health system’s weaknesses and the government must offer more support to carers, burden falls on families as coronavirus forces closure community facilities, stops home services Social distancing measure deteriorate the condition of young Hong Kongers and turning them to home confined for a long time, deteriorating mental health, and the soaring unemployment rate. Places with women leaders have better control over pandemic Hong Kong private doctors don’t test suspected Covid-19 patients, letting increase in case and severity of infection
Health Systems/Services Health officials in Hong Kong are looking for cheap hotels to quarantine an expected influx of thousands of domestic helpers, but the use of government facilities has been ruled out Local businessmen complain that high cost of tests at local clinics prohibitive for those who would be travelling frequently Hong Kong government’s hospital isolation protocol must also be playing a significant role in the confusion Discrimative policy against South Asian quarantine period Differential approach towards public gathering under social distaning measure either for protest or on beach
Social Impacts Cross-border families urge Hong Kong government to include them in quarantine exemption scheme Unfavourable paternity leave in Hong Kong is a major reason for gender inequality Over-reliance of e- everything: work, school, medical consulation etc. Xenophobic responses rose against ethnic minorities amid pandemic Anti-virus face masks plague Hong Kong’s beaches
Economic Impacts Hong Kong tenants’ group demands government return Fo Tan flats being used as Covid-19 quarantine facilities and rent relief for a year. One-time help of HK$6,000 is not enough Airport partly resume to help economy amid pandemic Music band had to rely on crowdfunding after losing all the economic support Hong Kong police issue 705 fixed penalties for congregating, totalling HK$1.41m on citizens Tourism industry amog the hardest hit due to social distancing measure with majority female employees
Security Impacts Doctors blame Hong Kong’s outdated IT systems for slowing Covid-19 response Suspisions rose over the health code system for travels to Guangdong, Macau after Covid-19 border restrictions are lifted A ‘return to normal’ is not good news for students bullied at school Hong Kong police ban city’s annual Tiananmen Square vigil for first time in 30 years, citing Covid-19 threat Education Bureau also asks teachers to work out discipline plans for arrested students


The COVID-19 gender matrix aims to provide a rapid snapshot of gendered and intersectional impacts of the outbreak and response. The Hong Kong matrix above includes findings from searches conducted between January 02 and June 15 2020. Searches were conducted using key words in Google News, the Hong Kong Newstream Databases, and through targeted searches of government and organizational websites. We then reviewed results, selecting those that presented concrete examples of the impacts of COVID-19 (as opposed to commentaries or suppositions). Each selected example was then coded based on a horizontal and vertical category in the matrix. Where more than one example was found per category intersection, we selected the most notable for the front facing matrix, listing the others in linked pages. Decisions regarding coding and which examples to list in the front facing matrix were discussed with the team to achieve consensus.

We recognize that the matrix is not a complete picture, but a rapid snapshot, and that there is substantial room for bias to shape its presentation. If you see particular gaps or omissions in the matrix please let us know. This is a dynamic process and we would appreciate the feedback. Please email