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SDGs after COVID-19: Actions for a gender-responsive recovery
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Virtual (New York time)

Side Event

UN Women

The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing vulnerabilities in social, political and economic systems, which are amplifying its impact. The crisis is deepening pre-existing inequalities and structural barriers, particularly in relation to women’s limited access to decent work, social protection systems, healthcare services, safe water and sanitation, decent work and digital infrastructure. Rising demand for care will also likely exacerbate inequalities in the gender division of labor, placing a disproportionate burden on women and girls with potential long-term implications for their health, wellbeing and economic empowerment. Responses to COVID-19 are likely to have significant impacts on women’s employment and livelihoods as well as an already beleaguered care economy. Women’s economic and productive lives and their economic and social rights should be front and center within all plans for economic recovery and resilience, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This side event will focus on both immediate and long-term policy actions that are necessary to ensure a gender-responsive recovery to COVID-19 to achieve gender equality and sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda continues to be relevant and provides the roadmap for recovery to address existing inequalities and systemic challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. In particular, the event will focus on gender-responsive economic recovery, the care economy and women’s leadership and participation in COVID-19 responses at all levels.

Speakers will include representatives from Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities.

Questions for discussion:

1. What are some temporary actions taken by countries to address the immediate impacts of COVID-19 that should be sustained in the longer-term to tackle pre-existing systemic challenges and gender inequalities? What steps can be taken to mobilize resources and redistribute public expenditures to finance the aforementioned actions in the long-term?

2. What are the preexisting bottle necks, and any emerging ones due to COVID-19, that hinder the specific policy measures and investments necessary to recognize, redistribute and reduce women’s disproportionate burden of unpaid care and domestic work? How can macroeconomic policy be reoriented to build an enabling environment for the care economy for all developed and developing countries?


• Dr. Shabnum Sarfraz, Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Government of Pakistan • Pilar Escalante, Undersecretary of Equality Policies, Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversities, Government of Argentina • Laura Turquet, Policy Advisor, Research and Data, UN Women • Natalia Karbowska, Director of Strategic Development, Ukrainian Women’s Fund • Olabukunola Williams, Executive Director, Education As A Vaccine

Moderator: Tom Woodroffe, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations

United Nations