Resources on Gender-sensitive Responses to COVID-19


April 21, 2020

Resources on Gender-sensitive Responses to COVID-19

As the impact of COVID-19 intensifies globally, we have curated a selection of resources and information on gender-sensitive responses and women’s leadership in times of pandemic. You will find a list of relevant resolutions, useful tools, virtual meetings, and calls and stories from the frontlines of the institutional and policy responses to the pandemic and its effects.   

This page will be regularly updated with new resources from our partners and other institutions providing gender-sensitive support and guidance.  


  • The European Parliament adopted a resolution addressing EU coordination on the COVID-19 pandemic response calling the European Commission and Member States to prioritize aid and crisis-mitigation measures for the most vulnerable citizens, women in particular. Click here to see it.
  • The Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) adopted a resolution calling for gender mainstreaming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring participation of women in decision-making at all levels. Click here to see it.

Useful tools

  • We recently hosted an e-Discussion on women's leadership in the COVID-19 response in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish to raise awareness on the importance of including women's voices and of gender-sensitive responses to the crisis and to collect good practices and recommendations from members of our network. Click here to see the e-Discussion in English and here to read the summary. 
  • The UN Secretary-General issued a policy brief that explores how women and girls’ lives are changing in the face of COVID-19, and outlines suggested priority measures to accompany both the immediate response and longer-term recovery efforts. Click here to see it.
  • UN Women is working with partners to bridge the gender data gap and deliver a more accurate picture of the gender dimension to the COVID-19 response so that it can be more effective for women and girls. Click here to see the data.
  • This UN Women issue brief highlights the impact of the current global pandemic on violence against women and girls and makes recommendations to prevent and respond to this phenomenon, at the onset, during, and after the public health crisis. Click here to see it.
  • The Inter-parliamentary Union published a guidance note for parliaments that includes recommendations on women’s participation and leadership in parliamentary decision-making on COVID-19, gender-responsive COVID-19 legislation, and government action oversight on the pandemic from a gender perspective. Click here to see it.
  • The UN Women office for the Americas and the Caribbean developed an informative brief with recommendations on how to incorporate women and gender equality in the crisis management response. Click here to see it. 
  • The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) has issued a detailed guidance note on a range of measures that governments should take to uphold women’s rights as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to download it.  

Virtual meetings

  • Talk on “Gender and Covid-19”: Why do more men die from the virus than women? And why isn’t this fact impacting research into a vaccine in the U.S.? Hosted by Francesca Donner, gender director at The Times and editor of the Times newsletter In Her Words, this talk provides answers to these pressing questions with Caroline Criado Perez, author of the award-winning book "Invisible Women” and Alisha Haridasani Gupta, gender reporter for In Her Words. Listen to the conversation here.
  • Talk on “Leadership in a Time of Crisis”: What does good leadership in crisis look like? In this time of unprecedented challenge related to COVID-19, what can we learn from the great leaders of the past? In this webinar conversation, experts explored these and other key questions about leading in a time of crisis. Click here to access the recording.  
  • Talk on “Why We Need to Make Women Visible”: Fawcett Society hosted on 7 April an online conversation with prominent gender equality advocates and leaders about how Coronavirus is affecting women and girls in the UK and why we need to make their experiences more visible. Click here to watch it. 
  • Upcoming conversation with Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and Halla Tómasdóttir on 16 June 2020 at 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM EDT: The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary test of leadership, and women in global leadership positions are rising to meet the challenge. This session will feature former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and Halla Tómasdóttir — a former candidate for President of Iceland, CEO and entrepreneur — in a dynamic discussion on Leadership in Times of Crisis: Lessons From Women World Leaders. To learn more about the event and to register, please go here.
  • Upcoming seminar entitled “Leadership in crisis: What do we expect from leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic?” on 25 June 2020 at 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM EDT: It’s rapidly becoming clear that Covid-19’s effects are gendered in complex ways, in ways that can either reinforce or challenge existing inequalities. Leadership is one of the most visible arenas for observing this. This seminar focuses on leading, leaders, and leadership, asking questions and looking for hope. To learn more about the event and to register, please go here.  

Calls and news

  • The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres urged governments “to put women and girls at the centre of their efforts to recover from COVID-19,” reminding them that women’s leadership and equal representation and decision-making power is key. Click here to learn more.   
  • Thirty-six women leaders from all over the world signed a letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council José Singer Weisinger urging for global action in response to the greatest peacetime challenge that humanity has faced. Click here to learn more.
  • The Secretary General of the Inter-parliamentary Union Martin Chungong and the Secretariat of the International Gender Champions co-published an opinion piece reflecting on the gendered implications of the current COVID-19 pandemic and proposing solutions to counter the negative effects on women and girls. Click here to read it.
  • The Socialists and Democrats, together with the leaders of the Party of European Socialists and its women’s organization PES Women sent a letter to the European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen, calling for a proactive gender-sensitive response to the crisis. Click here to learn more.
  • Dubravka Šimonović, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, issued a call to receive information on the increase of gender-based violence against women and domestic violence in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information.
  • The CEDAW Committee calls on governments and multilateral institutions to ensure women’s equal representation in formulating responses to COVID-19 and strategies to recover from the crisis. Click here to download the statement.
  • With an open letter, Deliver for Good, a network of more than 500 supporting organizations committed to championing gender equality, calls on governments to apply a gender lens and put girls, women, and gender equality at the center of COVID-19 preparedness. Click here to learn more.
  • What do countries with the best coronavirus responses have in common? Women leaders, answers Forbes in a recent article. From New Zealand to Iceland, women leaders are showing a novel way of dealing with a crisis. What are they teaching us? Click here to find out. 
  • How to prepare and respond to COVID-19? Leaders of cities, states and countries faced an unprecedented test. The ones who passed this test with flying colors are disproportionately women. This is despite the fact that they make up only 7% of heads of state. Click here to learn more. 
  • “Rise for All” is a new initiative that brings together women leaders to mobilize support for the UN Recovery Trust Fund and the UN roadmap for social and economic recovery, as laid out in the new United Nations Framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19. Click here to see their video message. 

For more resources and news on COVID-19 and gender equality, please go here.

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