BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - As the spread of COVID-19 continues to exacerbate many of the world’s inequalities, women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. They make up 70 per cent of the world’s healthcare workers and first responders, bear the brunt of care-giving and family duties, are more likely to face unemployment and poverty due to lockdown measures, and face an increased threat of violence as rates of domestic and gender-based violence surge around the world.

Despite these immense challenges, women are at the forefront of the fight to end the pandemic.

Six Spotlight Initiative partners from Kyrgyzstan shared how they’re helping their communities, villages and country recover from the pandemic. From working in hospitals and volunteering in the ‘red zone’ to keeping women’s shelters open, each of them risked their own health and safety to assist others. 

“As they say, hope dies last,” says Chief Physician of the City TB Hospital Tamara Karbaevna Bayalieva. “We believed in good.”

Watch their stories below.