Like women all around the globe, MENA women are at the frontline of the COVID-19 response and also suffer from expanding unpaid care burdens and gender-based violence. However, region-specific restrictive social norms and legal frameworks exacerbate the obstacles faced by women in the MENA region. This brief takes stock of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality in the region and highlights gender-sensitive measures and initiatives taken by governments, the private sector and civil society to mitigate the impact of the crisis on women. It asserts that the COVID-19 crisis is a watershed moment for gender equality in the MENA region and an opportunity to rethink women’s role in the economy and society. The region’s long-term recovery will depend on its ability to fully leverage the potential of both its men and women.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.