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'We need positive action:' 49 women ambassadors speak out for equality as part of recovery from pandemic

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March, women’s history month, closes with the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico and against the background of significant setbacks on the empowerment of women caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. From our seats in the General Assembly and our screens at home we have seen it growing: the increase in deaths; gender-based, including intimate partner, violence; abuse of women and girls who speak out; the widening of the gender gap for access to digital technologies; the loss of jobs, the decrease of women’s participation in public life and decision-making; disrupted access to essential health care; increase in child marriage; and the diminished access to education. Day by day in this yearlong battle against the pandemic we have seen how women are impacted twice: first by the virus, and then by its devastating secondary effects. We are 49 women ambassadors representing countries from all regions of the world, and we believe that such a reality is simply intolerable. Here we tell that story and what needs to be done to urgently recover the hard-won gains of recent years.

The COVID-19 crisis has a woman’s face.

The face of women nurses, doctors, scientists, care-givers, sanitation workers, and of those leading the response to the pandemic.

Women are on the front line:

As leaders delivering effectively with vision and care.

But also as victims of structural vulnerabilities and of violence and abuse.

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