• Melo Acuna

Women in countries' recovery from COVID-19

Women play important roles in COVID-19 pandemic and recovery

MANILA – “We are seeing women serving in the front line, in fact, in greater numbers than men in many cases, while they’re also experiencing greater risks of violence and higher rates of potential economic vulnerability,” thus said Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelley E. Currie at a teleconference hosted by the US Department of State Tuesday night.

Despite the headwinds faced by women, Ambassador Currie said it is empowering for her to see women being the “agents of the response” and “acting to serve as drivers of the recovery.”

“It’s important to ensure that the gains that women achieved over the past decades are not lost during this time and “that we’re able to build on and expand those gains while helping, while women are helping their families and communities cope with the crisis,” she further explained.

Based on available data, they are finding out how they can support women as “drivers of economic recovery” as they, at the State Department, work with their partners, specially their international partners to make sure women are able to get off the sidelines.

Meanwhile, USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa said from the earliest onset of the pandemic he’s been concerned that it is more than a healthcare crisis. He said it’s the secondary and tertiary effects of the pandemic which may stay for a while.

“We are concerned about the pandemic’s effects on fragile societies, fragile democracies, and fragile economies. So often what we find is women have larger roles in the service economies and informal economies,” he said. Mr. Barsa added the pandemic is affecting the economies of different countries and that recovery can only come with the full participation of about half of its potential workforce, women.

“This is absolutely the time to have greater emphasis on full participation by women in all sectors of the economy to help countries rebuild. So this is actually the time where women’s full participation is needed more than ever,” Barsa concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Kelley E. Currie and Acting USAID Director John Barsa. (US State Department Photos)

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