NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 3 – The Commonwealth Secretariat was on Thursday set to hold a special meeting of ministers for gender and women’s affairs to discuss ways to sustain progress on gender equality during COVID-19 disruptions.
The meeting will be chaired by Kenya’s Gender Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia.
A statement from her office said Ministers were expected to share experiences on how their countries are responding to the impact of the pandemic on gender equality progress as well as on women and girls.
“They will explore measures to ensure gender roles and differences are considered equitably in recovery and rebuilding efforts,” her office said.
Prof. Kobia who is the current chair for the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting will preside over the virtual meeting.
Those set to attend include Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, South Africa, Natalie Lawrence, Director of International and Intergovernmental Affairs at Women and Gender Equality (WAGE), Canada among others.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women and girls, with the harmful impact deepening existing gender inequalities, widened economic divides and worsened social insecurity.
Reports indicate that distress calls to domestic violence helplines have increased between 25 and 300 percent across the globe while women’s jobs are now 1.8 times more vulnerable relative to men’s jobs due to this crisis.
The Thursday vital platform was organised for member countries to share experiences and boost their responses in overcoming these challenges and safeguarding the progress made towards achieving the sustainable development goal for gender equality by 2030.