United Nations, June 24: Countries with greater women's leadership, better social protection and care systems, and space for feminist organizations are more effective at responding to crises such as COVID-19, according to a new UN report released on Thursday.
Nearly 5,000 policies were examined over a two-year period by the COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women, the most comprehensive global repository of gender-sensitive government responses to the pandemic.
In 196 of the 226 countries and territories surveyed, at least one gender-sensitive measure was adopted, according to the report, "Government responses to COVID-19: Lessons on gender equality for a world in turmoil."
Countries with higher proportions of women in elected office, irrespective of national income, adopted more policies and budgeting that integrated gender considerations. Countries with strong democracies, powerful feminist movements or high shares of women in parliament adopted an average of five more gender-sensitive measures than countries without them, finds the report.
"Countries with stronger social protection systems and public services do better on gender equality and have correspondingly been better able to weather the storms of recent years," said UN Women Executive Director SimaBahous in a press release. "This report shows that when women lead, everyone benefits from a more inclusive and effective crisis response, and more resilient economies and societies, today and in the future."
UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said rebuilding women's economic security and ensuring their rights is a critical priority for governments and the United Nations.
"Responding to current and future crises requires action now to ensure that economies and societies are better prepared and more resilient in the future. This report shows what governments can achieve in their crisis response when they prioritize gender equality," he said.