As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies around the world, it is clear that if we want to deliver health, wellbeing, and dignity for all, we need a strong gender lens on response and recovery.

That’s why Women Deliver, together with our partners, has been working with leaders and mobilizers across the globe — from the Secretary General of the United Nations and the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, to Young Leaders, women’s organizations, and the boards of Fortune 500 companies — to outline key actions that civil society, governments, the private sector, and multilateral organizations should take to address the gendered dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis.

I am pleased to share Women Deliver’s recommendations with the hope that they will inspire building the world we want post-pandemic. And what we want is a more gender-equal world, because we know that a gender-equal world is healthier, wealthier, more prosperous, and more peaceful.

Katja Iversen,
President and CEO, Women Deliver

Our recommendations range from better data utilization to health, social, and economic investments. A few highlights can be found below, and click here to see all ten.

Apply best practices and a gender lens to all COVID related efforts.

All policies, programs, and investments, including stimulus and recovery packages, must be designed with a gender lens, so they don’t overlook or have unintended consequences for girls, women, and gender equality. This approach should include proven best practices such as gender-responsive analysis, budgeting, and auditing processes and a gender marker for tracking.

Safeguard maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), the bedrock of gender equality. 

In past pandemics and crises, emergency response has resulted in de-prioritizing and de-funding essential health and social services for girls and women — directly threatening their health and rights. As the world responds to the COVID-19 crisis, funding and access to SRHR, including modern contraception, safe abortion, maternal health services and safe childbirth, as well as telemedicine, must be prioritized. In settings impacted by both COVID-19 and humanitarian crisis, this includes implementing lifesaving activities that uphold SRHR at the outset of all emergencies.

Protect women’s economic opportunity and livelihood.

Millions have lost their jobs and livelihood during the COVID-19 crisis, many of them women who are already hard hit by existing inequalities like unequal pay and less access to financial services. Emergency and stimulus packages as well as long term recovery investments must support and protect women and marginalized people, including forcibly displaced and migrant girls and women who might not be able to access these resources due to their citizenship status. These investments must include robust investment in social policies and safety nets for those in the formal and informal economies, such as paid sick leave, unemployment benefits, paid family and parental leave, cash transfers, food voucher and food distribution programs, and access to emergency healthcare for everyone.

Read All 10 Recommendations:

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