Message from Director: Power to Empower, An Inclusive Covid19 Recovery Response (ICRR): Gender Perspective

Power to Empower, An Inclusive Covid19 Recovery Response (ICRR): Gender Perspective

Firstly, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic, my thoughts are with our partners, supporters, and well-wishers around the globe. In these uncertain times, 203 countries and territories around the world are being exposed to challenges caused by this pandemic: health care provisions to the majority of the people will be carried out under fragile democracies in conflict-ridden regions, and to environmentally vulnerable communities.

Recent events have seen the UN Headquarter city, New York, as an epicenter in the USA, The Netherlands becoming the country with the third largest COVID-19 death toll, and nationalism gaining unprecedented momentum. Even the EU is divided over allocation of its needs-fund reserves. Would UNSG Antonio Guterres be able to convince the world that the size of pledges made under his newly created Global Humanitarian Response Plan and Trust Fund will be enough to match the scale of crisis and its recovery?
Amidst the spread of CoVid19, women all around the world have demonstrated their resilience and leadership against Covid-19 challenges. May it be the women in education sector, healthcare professionals, cleaning branch, agrarian area, politics and governance, or business and charities, they are the tried and tested frontline Sheroes. We understand that it is a crucial time to recollect dispersed and divided power in our communities to provide a leadership that inspires not only the hope and compassion but a perspective. Power to empower; that is the only way forward.

I am grateful to my team who, in the early days of the spread of covid19, pioneered a collective global #SheCaresCovid19 campaign that offers us a meaningful focus for engagement in these times of social distancing. We launched the campaign on 13th of March on the last day that the team was still able to work from our the Hague office by connecting with our large network of partners and supporters not only in The Netherlands, but around the globe. We strengthened the initiative by reaching out to major women`s networks and International Development organisations in The Netherlands and internationally, including UN Women and UNDP, WHO and IGC and sent a letter to Minister Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We found the majority of women organisations are confronted with the sheer unpreparedness to deal with a crisis and having quick responsive tools for their support efforts.

This is not the 2020 that the global community of women had envisioned at the beginning of the year - Backlash to gender equality and relevant disparities seem real with the cancellation of CSW 64 overshadowing the scope of upcoming events around Beijing+25, the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 and COP26. In these times, the herstory (history) is our long-committed resilience and devoted leadership will provide strength to suppress the impact of Covid-19 as #SheCaresCovid19.

Together, we demand generosity, justice, and equality for all rich and poor men and women in the world. We need an Inclusive Covid-19 Recovery Response (ICRR)

Sabra Bano,