The current COVID-19 pandemic with its rising death tolls and massive social and economic disruption shows how biology can create harm on a global scale. It has also shown that humans are affected differently depending on their gender roles. Some experts already raised the question whether this may inspire state and non-state actors to develop biological weapons in the future. The upcoming Biological Weapons Convention Meetings of Experts in December 2020 and the recent interest of States to integrate gender perspectives into disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation makes it a good moment to discuss and connect the dots: What are the sex- and gender-related effects of biological weapons and disease more globally? Can awareness of sex-specific differences improve public health responses to biological weapons? And how can understanding gendered dynamics help improve strategies to minimize the spread of infection?
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