In this year 2020, the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Action Platform was to be celebrated and it was because of the global COVID-19 pandemic that the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64) to be held in March in New York had to be cancelled, a humanitarian crisis that also, without being coincidental, shows the structural inequality in the reality of people's lives and particularly that of women and girls.
UCLG together with the United Nations will provide a platform, through its Live Learning Experience, to local and regional elected women who are in turn ensuring that the voices of women are represented in the spaces where strategies against the pandemic are decided under a woman's leadership and with a gender approach. Women and girls live the pandemic differently, as do the different territories and localities they inhabit.
This meeting should provide the space for women from across the world to deliver their key strategies, concerns and experience, recalling their critical role as front liners in the crisis. At the same time, the session provides an opportunity to renew participants’ commitment and support to the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment at all levels beyond the outbreak. Women are at the real frontline of response to current times, often overrepresented as social, health, volunteer and caregiver professionals which assume greater physical and emotional costs and face an increased risk of infection. We need to ensure the voice of local and regional governments heard in the global conversation on gender equality and the empowerment of women in all spheres of life and government.
Special attention needs to be paid to the impact on women and girls and to ensure that their needs and rights are addressed through social policies of reorganization of time and redistribution of wealth. #BeyondTheOutbreak. we need to undertake reforms pertaining the structural and crucial dimension of care – and do so in a manner that truly leaves no one and no territory behind.
- What does the pandemic entail in terms of lessons and opportunities regarding women’s participation in policy making?
- What policy reforms are needed to ensure the needs and rights of women and girls are adequately addressed now and after the pandemic?
- How are structural inequalities of women and girls – such as their disproportionate burdens of care and time, or less access to economic opportunity – exacerbated by the COVID-19 era? Beyond the outbreak, how can these structural barriers be addressed by local/regional leaders?
- What women and girls are being left behind in COVID-19 responses and where are they located? What is being done to reach them?
Click here to see the agenda.