Why Global Citizens Should Care
When women are equally represented in policy- and decision-making, they make choices that support their communities’ well-being. The United Nations’ Global Goal 5 aims to empower all women and girls. You can join us by taking action on gender inequality here and support our Together At Home campaign against coronavirus here.

A group of powerful women is stepping up to work together and unite the world in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

The United Nations launched the new women-led social and economic recovery initiative Rise for All to gain support for the UN Response and Recovery Fund and Framework. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed introduced the initiative in a press briefing on Monday.

With women on the frontlines of fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, their leadership is crucial in response efforts, according to Mohammed. 

"We are women leaders rising in solidarity to save lives and protect livelihoods from COVID-19," the Rise for All website reads. "We call for all leaders in all countries and in all sectors to meet the human crisis of COVID-19. Stopping this pandemic and recovering from it is a shared responsibility requiring global solidarity. We must recover better. And we can, by building back better together."

President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar, and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley are all supporting Rise For All. Representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UN Women, UNICEF, UNFPA, have also signed on.

"This is a global crisis," Zewd said. "Delay in action means death. We all face the same enemy and we stand to gain by bringing the full force of humanity together to fight it."

The UN Framework supports the World Health Organization’s (WHO) response and the UN’s COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, with a universal country-sensitive approach committed to environmental sustainability and gender equality, and is in accordance with the Global Goals, according to Mohammed.

Five pillars make up the UN Framework:

  1. Ensure availability of health services and health systems.
  2. Provide social protection and basic services to help people cope.
  3. Protect jobs, support small- and medium-sized enterprises, and the most vulnerable productive actors through economic recovery programs.
  4. Guide fiscal and financial stimulus to make macroeconomic policies work for the most vulnerable.
  5. Promote social cohesion and invest in community-led response systems.

The strategy is also in line with the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched in April to mobilize $1 billion. While the member states have already contributed $38 million to the fund, Mohammed says much more is needed.

"It is time for us to rise as women leaders taking action to conquer the pandemic and come out stronger," Mohamed said.

Disclosure: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a funding partner of Global Citizen.

Editor's note: This piece has been updated to include a disclosure that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a funding partner of Global Citizen. We regret the oversight.


Demand Equity

Powerful Women Leaders From Around the World Are Working Together to Fight COVID-19

By Leah Rodriguez