To bring women’s views and solutions to the forefront of discussions and decisions on COVID-19 response, UN Women initiated rapid consultations across the Europe and Central Asia region. Three sessions were held in early April 2020 in the Central Asia, Eastern Partnership and Western Balkans and Turkey sub-regions with 128 participants. Participants included women’s organizations and activists already working on the front lines of COVID-19 response. Each brought their own unique perspective from working with diverse groups of women and girls in their communities, including young and old women, women with disabilities, minority women, women survivors of violence, LGBTIQ+ people and refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants. Together, their resourceful and innovative suggestions enable truly needs-based emergency support and services to women and girls who are currently at greatest risk of being left behind.
The consultations provided an opportunity to hear directly about the specific risks and challenges that women and girls face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; they also focused on the opportunities and solutions they are providing so that the strategic focus of support can be adjusted in a gender-responsive manner to reflect their differentiated experience.