Construire l’Avenir : Créer un Monde plus Equitable, Inclusif et Durable Pour Toutes et Tous

Care International
Publication language
Date published
11 Feb 2021
Research, reports and studies
Children & youth, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Gender, Health, humanitarian action, Humanitarian Principles
CARE International

In its new Building the Future report (French), CARE highlights the impact of COVID-19 on our societies, especially on women and girls in all their diversity. While the pandemic has had and will continue to have devastating effects, we should see it as an opportunity to create a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable world.

COVID-19: Women and girls on the front lines

They work in the agriculture, healthcare or personal assistance sector: women and girls are undoubtedly the most affected by COVID-19.

Indeed, the pandemic has exposed them to disproportionate health risks. 70% of health workers in the world are women and many do not have access to adequate equipment to protect themselves. They are also on the front line to provide care for sick and elderly parents, as well as children. The volume of these tasks would have increased by 30 to 40%, or one to two hours a day!

The pandemic is also having dramatic economic consequences for many of them and has severely affected their livelihoods. They are 1.8 times more likely to have lost their jobs than men. Finally, the measures implemented to curb the spread of the virus have contributed to an increase in gender-based and sexual violence. Confined with their attacker, they risk their lives.

CARE's recommendations for building the future

The many economic and social recovery plans in response to the pandemic do not sufficiently take into account the specific needs of women and girls. Yet, they should be the opportunity to create a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive world, without discrimination based on gender. This future cannot exist without strengthening the rights of women. That is why we must act now by putting women and girls at the heart of stimulus and reform measures.

To build the future, policymakers and the private sector must ;

  • Prioritize gender equality and the intersectional approach - which takes into account the diversity of women and girls - in their recovery strategies, their environmental policies and their humanitarian interventions. This means: including women and girls at all decision-making levels, adopting measures that favor women and girls and strengthen gender equality.

  • Make data collection a priority and undertake analyzes that take into account the specific needs of women and girls, their age, their disability situation, their economic and migratory situation, their ethnicity, their nationality, or even their sexuality.

  • Encourage policies that create jobs, defend workers' rights and ensure workplace safety. Particular attention should be paid to people working in the informal sector.

  • Strengthen women's entrepreneurship and business opportunities and provide them with better access to financial products and services that take into account their needs. It will also involve promoting the inclusion of women in all value chains.

  • Urgently correct the inequitable burden of unpaid care, invest in universal social protection and safety nets in times of crisis.

  • Increase the resilience of women, girls and marginalized groups to climate change and the pandemic, including investing in renewable energy, ecosystem protection, weather-resistant agriculture and adaptation to climate change.

  • Mobilize adequate and increased public funding following COVID-19, in a way that promotes gender equity. These funds must be used to meet the needs of the populations and enable them to increase their capacity for action and their resilience in the face of crises. This requires concrete commitments to official development assistance (ODA) and an increase in the amount of funds allocated to essential programs for women and girls and to organizations led by women or working in favor of gender equality.

Care International