The Covid-19 pandemic has affected men and women differently, exacerbating existing gender inequalities across a range of areas including health, education and livelihoods. Globally, women and girls are also experiencing increased levels of gender-based violence.
The pandemic has highlighted the key role played by women and girls in sustaining human society, as the continuation of health care, education at home, and wellbeing of families rely on the agency exercised by women and girls. There is an urgent need to ensure that emergency response and recovery plans take into account both the immediate and longer-term impacts of Covid-19 on women and girls, otherwise the progress made to date on women’s empowerment and gender equality will be lost.
This positioning paper makes a set of recommendations on the kinds of interventions, investments and partnerships that will ensure that the Covid-19 response in the immediate, medium and long term is gender transformative with respect to the five key policy priority commitment areas in Ireland’s international development policy, A Better World. These areas are: sexual and reproductive health and rights; women’s economic empowerment; girls’ education; gender-based violence; and women, peace and security.