The year 2020 was a difficult one for gender equality. The coronavirus pandemic had a disproportionate effect on women and girls around the world. Women were often front-line responders against COVID-19, experiencing direct exposure to the virus but remaining excluded from response planning and decision-making.
The crisis threatened many women’s economic security and pushed them towards more unpaid care. Incidents of gender-based violence – particularly domestic violence – surged while lockdown measures and pressure on the resourcing and staffing of service providers such as shelters and hotlines hampered access to help.
The OSCE was swift to contribute to mitigating the gendered challenges posed by the pandemic. OSCE executive structures worked hand in hand with local women’s groups to support victims of gender-based violence, helped improve police response to domestic violence, joined forces with national stakeholders to empower women to cope with the economic fallout from COVID-19, and provided analyses of the gendered impacts of responses to the pandemic and recommendations for recovery policies. This report provides concrete examples of such actions.
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.