Women’s participation vital to fight COVID-19 pandemic: UN

Women’s participation vital to fight COVID-19 pandemic: UN

The United Nations (UN) has stressed full participation of women for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Xinhua.

UN Women and the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs on Monday launched a joint policy brief entitled "COVID-19 and Conflict: Advancing women's meaningful participation in ceasefires and peace processes".

In support of the UN secretary-general's call for a global ceasefire, the brief addresses "the importance of women's full, equal and meaningful participation to an effective pandemic response and to peacemaking efforts."

It also provides a preliminary analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on women's participation in ceasefires and peace processes and offers a series of recommendations, including on "building back better".

President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande warned in July that advances in gender equality are greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and this may mean a significant setback worldwide if inaction in this regard continues.

In March, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a global ceasefire to allow the world to address COVID-19.

Since the outbreak, women have been at the forefront of effective COVID-19 prevention and response efforts, said the UN chief.

The impact of the crisis on women in conflict-affected contexts is of particular concern. In these already tragic contexts, many women have had their access to sexual and reproductive health, livelihoods and other essential services severely restricted, according to the policy brief.

Women's increased exposure to the disease due to their high levels of engagement in paid and unpaid care work, the surge in domestic violence and already fragile health systems being overwhelmed are driving home the gender-differentiated impacts of the pandemic, said the brief.

Displaced, refugee, rural and other marginalised women face additional challenges including a lack of reliable information and access to critical technologies, the brief noted.

Coronavirus cases, first reported in China in December last year, have shot past 18 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The total number of cases stood at 18,109,901 and the fatalities rose to 690,055 on Monday. Besides, 1,468,689 people recovered from virus infection globally.

Bangladesh has so far confirmed 242,102 cases with 3,184 deaths.