The UN Warns that Excluding Women from High-Level Jobs Jeopardizes Covid-19 Recovery Process

The United Nations said on Thursday that global attempts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic are jeopardized because women are being sidelined from key decision-making responsibilities.

According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), only 6% of coronavirus task groups, which coordinate government responses to the fatal virus, have an equal number of men and women, while 11% have no women at all.

In a statement, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner stated that “The pivotal decisions being made today will affect the well-being of people and planet for generations to come”.  Women must be able to have a full role in designing a post-Covid-19 world that works for all of us if we are to have long-term recovery.

According to new data from the UNDP and the University of Pittsburgh’s Gender Inequality Research Lab, women hold fewer than one-third of top leadership roles in public administration around the world, jeopardizing a green and inclusive recovery.

Women make up 58 percent of health ministry staff, but only 34 percent of health policy decision-making roles, according to their research in 170 nations.

Many nations are grappling with the economic and social consequences of Covid-19, which the UNDP estimates would push another 105 million women and girls into poverty by 2030.

The UNDP cited an “alarming spike in violence against women and girls” as well as “significant employment and income losses, which threaten to stall progress on gender equality.”

Governments become more responsive and accountable, and the quality of public services, notably in the areas of health, childcare, and violence against women, improves dramatically when women hold positions of leadership in government, according to the report.

Women are underrepresented in leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. However, everyone must have a seat at the leadership table if we are to build a robust, egalitarian, inclusive, and thriving economy.

Photo Credit: