The way forward: Containing the immediate fallout and building back better for women and girls
Recognizing the severe impacts of the pandemic on women and girls, governments need to adopt comprehensive gender-sensitive policies that include gender-based violence prevention and response, develop care systems, and support unpaid care work, along with measures to ensure women’s economic security.
Such measures will only be effective if they are adequately financed and sustained over time. Donor countries should maintain or increase their aid budgets to ensure that low-income countries can mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls and accelerate economic recovery and transformation.
Governments must also support women’s active participation in leadership and decision-making in their COVID-19 responses. To ensure that policies can be scrutinized by women’s civil society organizations, governments should make information about their policy responses publicly available and include women in the design, implementation, and monitoring of policies. Governments should also invest in data collection, to ensure that policies are based on up-to-date gender statistics, which are disaggregated by sex, income, race/ethnicity, age, and disability, among others.
With such efforts, in spite of the tragic human toll of the pandemic, the COVID-19 crisis can also provide an opportunity to change course and build back better for women and girls, transforming existing models towards ones that prioritize social justice and gender equality.
Post originally appeared on UN Women