Effective, decisive, and inclusive: Women’s leadership in COVID-19 response and recovery

This working paper is part of UN Women’s research efforts to highlight the importance of women’s leadership and participation in decision-making during the pandemic and beyond. The working paper tackles the question of how women leaders at the national and subnational levels of government managed COVID-19 response and recovery during the pandemic’s first 15 months, from January 2020 through March 2021.

The paper finds that women leaders placed premiums on effective leadership, rapid response, and socially inclusive policies as they understood that the effects of the pandemic would reach far beyond public health, affecting every aspect of society and disproportionately harming women and girls.

The publication also maps out lessons learned and recommendations on how to ensure women participate in and influence decision-making during the pandemic response and recovery.

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