The social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely affected progress towards gender equality. Violence against women and girls has intensified; child marriage, on the decline in recent years, is expected to increase; and women have suffered a disproportionate share of job losses and increased care work at home. The pandemic has highlighted the need to act swiftly to address pervasive global gender inequalities. Women have played a central role in the response to COVID-19, as frontline health workers, care providers, and as managers and leaders of recovery efforts. Yet they remain underrepresented in leadership positions, and their rights and priorities are often not explicitly addressed in response and recovery measures. The crisis presents an opportunity to re-shape and rebuild systems, laws, policies and institutions to advance gender equality.

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