COVID-19 and the Participation of Women and Women’s Rights Organisations in Decision-making

Aghajanian, L. and Ella, P.
Publication language
Date published
07 Oct 2022
Rapid Learning Review
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)

This rapid review examines available evidence around the political representation of women and women’s rights organisations in COVID-19 decision-making. In terms of the participation of women and women’s rights organisations in COVID-19 decision-making, the review finds the following: there is strong evidence that there are low levels of female participation at senior-level decision-making in COVID-19, across countries from the Global North and South, women’s rights organisations are suffering from decreased funding during the COVID-19 crisis, there is mixed evidence with regards to women’s rights organisations participating in COVID-19 decision-making and at the local and community levels, CARE’s rapid gender analyses show that women are being left out of COVID-19 response decision-making. Women are at a significant risk of the secondary effects of COVID-19. One significant challenge in the delivery of a gendered COVID-19 response is the lack of age and gender-disaggregated data. This rapid literature review does not find any evidence that the exclusion of women from decision-making is leading to gender gaps in the COVID-19 response. In terms of how to better engage women in the COVID-19 response, the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) suggests that women’s leadership and participation is treated as a critical cross-sector issue.