A multilateral approach to the Gender Impacts of COVID-19 at the Intersection of Health and Finance was discussed at the monthly meeting of the NGO NY Commission on the Status of Women. Madeleine Brecher, ICJW’s representative to the NGO CSW in New York reports on this important virtual meeting that she attended on 18 June, 2020.

The current coronavirus pandemic has not only created a global health crisis by straining health infrastructures and national budgets. Institutions are predicting a global economic recession and financial setbacks from COVID-19, which are derailing any advances in financing for development and gender equality as a more complete picture on the impacts of women and girls is emerging. Women are bearing a disproportionate brunt of the healthcare costs. Despite best efforts, no country or region can solve the crises on their own.  The June monthly zoom meeting explored this topic and discussed a potential recovery through a multilateral lens with excellent speakers from various sectors including civil society, government and the United Nations agencies.

Dr. Nata Menabde: Executive Director of the WHO office at the UN made the following points:

Nafissatou Diop, Chief, Gender and Human Rights Branch, UNFPA (UN Population Fund) made the following points:

Crystal Simeoni, Afrifem Macroeconomics Collective in Kenya made the following points:

Crystal J. Rogers, Community Organizer, NY State Nurses Association made the following excellent observations about the medical system in New York:

UN Statement on the Impact of COVID-19 on Women

In April 2020, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued an important policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on women, in conjunction with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Secretariat. He wrote:

“The pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political and economic systems which are in turn amplifying the impacts of the pandemic. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex. This policy brief 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 download the 21-page document in PDF format.