Recent events on COVID-19 and gender equality

UN Women is working to keep women’s needs and voices at the centre or COVID-19 response and recovery efforts by organizing and participating in virtual conversations and events.

Women of the World (WOW) Global 24 Festival
27-28 June 2020

UN Women Executive Director will participate this weekend at WOW Global 24 - Women of the World's first ever free 24 hour online festival uniting women and girls across the world. The Festival aims to respond to the world’s current events, including racial injustice and the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on women and girls, particularly those already marginalised. Other speakers include Angela Davis, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Indian disability and gender rights activist Nidhi Goyal, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson.The event will be available to watch live via and you can also join the online conversation using #WOWGlobal24.

Building a Better World Post-COVID With Women at the Centre
16 June 2020

UN Women Executive Director will participate in the Irish Aid Development Matters Lecture Series, co-organised with the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA).  In her address to the IIEA, Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka will discuss how governments around the world can build better, fairer societies post- COVID-19 with women and girls at the centre. The Executive Director will issue a strong call for women’s leadership as countries begin to emerge from lockdown and will provide recommendations for a socio-economic recovery that is gender-focused. Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka will also look at the links between the Sustainable Development Goals and gender equality in the context of the Beijing+25 conference on women. The event is open to the public and free to attend.

Sustainability After COVID-19: Building gender equality into the response
26 May 2020

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia joins experts from the Global Green Growth Institute, Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Women's Environment and Development Organization, and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing & Organizing to discuss how crises and economic downturns affect women, and how we can promote gender equality and women's empowerment in COVID-19 recovery.

Meeting of African Ministers in charge of Gender and Women’s Affairs on COVID-19 Response and Recovery
12 May 2020

UN Women and the African Union, in partnership with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), hosted the inaugural meeting of African Ministers for Gender and Women’s Affairs, under the theme “COVID-19 Response and Recovery” - a Gendered Framework.” The meeting was co-chaired by UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Chairperson of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Beatrice Lomeya Atilite.

High-Level Roundtable The G7’s role in ensuring women's economic empowerment and security in the post-COVID future
12 May 2020

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and European Commission Head of Service for Foreign Policy Instruments Hilde Hardeman, and International Labour Organization (ILO) Deputy Director-General for Policy Deborah Greenfield convened Ministers, CEOs, and business associations, trade unions, civil society and academia representatives at a High-Level Roundtable on 12 May. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a serious threat to women’s employment and livelihoods as it deepens pre-existing inequalities, and exposes cracks in social, political and economic systems. Roundtable participants put forth recommendations for G7 Member States to foster resilient and regenerative societies and economies and build the world we want post-pandemic.

Building Back Better Education for Adolescent Girls after COVID-19
12 May 2020

A webinar brought together Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director UN Women, Alice Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education, Mariam Adam, Malala Fund Student Activist, and Youssou N’Dour, Artist and Champion, for Global Partnership for Education to discuss girls education in the times of global pandemic. The online panel discussion was organized by the UN Missions of Ireland, Liberia and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Women & Girls How UN Women and Philanthropy Can Ensure a Gender Intentional Response and Recovery
29 April 2020

UN Women convened a meeting with philanthropic organizations to share analysis, insights and approaches for addressing COVID-19 in a gender-responsive way, and offer a space for philanthropy to share their interventions and challenges. Speakers included UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia; WHO Assistant Director General Dr. Ibrahima-Soce Fall; and UN Women Director Policy, Programme and Intergovernmental Division Sarah Hendriks. 

Women Leaders' Virtual Roundtable on COVID-19 and the Future
20 April 2020

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20, convened a high-level virtual discussion to address the disproportionately negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has on women and girls and to identify and prioritize policy measures that facilitates a more gender-inclusive recovery path. Participants included Heads of State and Government, civil society representatives, heads of global women’s movements and youth leaders.