Gender specialist Hawa Games Dahab Gabjenda stands in a doorway.
Hawa Games Dahab Gabjenda, a gender specialist who has worked on women’s empowerment, development, humanitarian and peacebuilding initiatives, participated as a gender observer in the Juba peace talks held between the Transitional Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in 2021. Photo: UN Photo/Maimana El Hassan.

Women are systematically underrepresented in decision-making processes, including around COVID-19 response and recovery. Due in part to this disparity, many COVID response and recovery plans have failed to incorporate gender-sensitive policies. 

What can governments do?

  • Prioritize women’s representation and leadership in the creation, implementation and evaluation of COVID response and recovery plans.
  • Ensure women’s involvement in COVID-19 specialized groups or task forces, as well as legislative, policy, and budgetary decision-making processes — even if this requires special measures, such as quotas, to guarantee their participation.
  • Collaborate with women’s organizations and feminist activists and take their concerns into account in pandemic response and recovery measures.
  • Design and implement gender responsive laws, policies and budgets for COVID support and recovery by identifying gender-specific needs and priorities.
  • Assess the gender-specific impacts of COVID-19 support and recovery plans.

What is UN Women doing?