This brief shines a light on the critical role of women’s leadership in responding to COVID-19 and preparing for a more equitable recovery. Across the globe, women are at the helm of institutions carrying out effective and inclusive COVID-19 responses, from the highest levels of decision-making to frontline service delivery. At the same time, the brief recognizes pre-existing and new constraints to women’s participation and leadership and advocates for measures to facilitate women’s influence over decision-making processes. It makes recommendations to be considered by national, regional and international policymakers. In addition to considering the pandemic’s immediate impacts on women’s political participation, the brief demonstrates the opportunity to “build back better” by including and supporting women, and the organizations and networks that represent them, in the decision-making processes that will ultimately shape the post-pandemic future.
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