In September, the Homeland Security Council released its updated Global COVID-19 Response and Recovery Framework, which provides a comprehensive overview of the US government’s current approach to addressing COVID-19 and strengthening health systems. Surprisingly, this framework does not integrate solutions that take into account gender disparities in impacts and needs. In fact, the Framework omits to include specific actions with respect to women and girls.
The NSC framework makes little reference to women and girls outside of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and does not take into account the fact that most female health workers face specific barriers, such as a lack of wage equity, Informality and lack of recognition. as well as harmful social norms that have increased the burden of care for women during the pandemic, even for women who are not formally part of the health workforce.
America is needed to better the world. At CARE, we call on the Biden administration to include gender equality as a central component of its response to the pandemic.
To achieve this, the administration must:
1. Integrate a gender transformative lens into the development of your framework and protocols, including gendered needs and targeted repair of barriers to impact and access to interventions.
2. Ensure that global health interventions, including legislation and funding, recognize and support the critical role of FLHWs by fair pay, respect, protection and training. This includes funding and supporting local women-led and women’s rights organizations who are in the last mile, supporting and encouraging communities.
3. Give women leaders and affected communities a place at the table in the decision-making process and ensure their meaningful participation in the joint design of global health policies, programs and practices.