3. What can be done by governments, parliaments, civil society, and the media to ensure women’s voices are more included? There is a wealth of measures that have been identified by the IPU that parliaments can take to reach this aim:
a) At a time when parliaments and their structures are meeting in a reduced capacity, often with a reduced number of members, it is vital to secure the participation of women at all levels and their leadership in the decision-making and oversight committees, units and/or task forces put in place in parliament to respond to the crisis. Equal participation of men and women, women’s leadership and a clear gender-mainstreaming mandate are key to ensure the inclusivity and efficiency of such parliamentary mechanisms.
b) Just as important is the inclusion of women’s voices and the contribution of women’s organizations, women representatives of labour market sectors, women working in the informal sector, women caring for the ill, and so on, in all parliamentary deliberations
during the COVID-19 crisis: to this end, virtual witness testimony via
videoconferencing technologies, among other methods, would be a useful contribution.
c) Continued functioning of existing gender equality committees and the inclusion of gender equality in the mandate of new special parliamentary committees set up to scrutinize the government’s COVID-19 response are also essential to guarantee an accountable institutional commitment to gender mainstreaming and, ultimately, an efficient parliamentary response to the pandemic.
For additional information, see the IPU guidance note for parliaments on Gender and Covid-19: https://www.ipu.org/gender-and-covid-19-guidance-note-parliaments