linde1_Christopher FurlongGetty Images_coronavirusnursestesting Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The Pandemic’s Gender Imperative

Given that the COVID-19 crisis affects men and women in different ways, measures to resolve it must take gender into account. For women and girls, vulnerabilities in the home, on the front lines of health care, and in the labor market must be addressed.

STOCKHOLM/MADRID – Regardless of where one looks, it is women who bear most of the responsibility for holding societies together, be it at home, in health care, at school, or in caring for the elderly. In many countries, women perform these tasks without pay. Yet even when the work is carried out by professionals, those professions tend to be dominated by women, and they tend to pay less than male-dominated professions.

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown these gender-based differences into even sharper relief. Regional frameworks, multilateral organizations, and international financial institutions must recognize that women will play a critical role in resolving the crisis, and that measures to address the pandemic and its economic fallout should include a gender perspective.

We see three areas where women and girls are particularly at risk and in need of stronger protections in the current crisis.

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