Women have been absent from, or underrepresented in Covid crisis response teams across the globe. As a result, women’s voices, experiences and unique concerns have often not been taken into account.

Problem:

Following crisis trends, the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened pre-existing inequalities in our societies.* Despite the fact that men are more likely to succumb to the Coronavirus, emerging evidence shows that women shoulder the burden of its effects.

Despite this, however, women have been absent from, or underrepresented in Covid crisis response teams across the globe. For example, only 2 of the 22 members on the United States’ Coronavirus Task Force are women. Worse still, Italy’s group of Coronavirus advisors to the government does not include any woman.**

As a result of this imbalance, women’s voices, experiences and concerns have not been taken into account in many state/national responses to the pandemic. It is this lack of representation that has failed to account for sex-specific issues, such as but not limited to, the need for continued access to reproductive health services (including access to abortion, maternal health and pre and post natal services) the already existing unpaid labour gap, and increased levels of domestic violence due to lockdown.

Solution:

Create and implement a resolution that calls for:

1) At least 30% female representation (minimum) on all nation and state-formed crisis response teams; research suggests that 30% represents a critical mass from which point minority groups can impact group dynamics.***

2) Input from the essential, impacted services and organisations that serve women, girls and people who identify as women, femme and nonbianary when shaping crisis responses, such as:
- Reproductive health services, including pre and post natal health providers, sexual health providers and midwives
- Domestic and gender-based violence organisations, etc.

3) The collection, analysis and publication of disaggregated data (at the very least, by gender, age, location and race/ethnicity).

Similar to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 which argues that: 1) responses to violent conflict must address the particular needs of women and girls and 2) women must be equal partners in all efforts to build peace, a new resolution could apply these same principles to crisis situations.****

Who Should Act:

States, nations and international organisations; can be supported by pressure and lobbying efforts by local/grassroots level actors.

Sources:

* https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/libra…

** https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52588862?fbclid=IwAR1uf2aTJemWJvQ…

*** https://30percentclub.org/resources/research-articles

**** https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N00/720/18/PDF/N0072018.p…

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