Statement submitted by Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health to the Commission on the Status of Women

In 2020, we mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action and the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security – two visionary global agendas for achieving women’s equal participation in all aspects of life. During this landmark year, the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have collectively faced since World War II. Women and girls have disproportionately borne the brunt of the pandemic’s devastating impacts, and COVID-19 responses will continue to be less effective at meeting the needs of women and girls – and the economy – without women and girls’ equal leadership and participation in decision-making spaces. Despite only accounting for 25 per cent of all elected politicians worldwide (the Lancet), evidence has shown that female-led governments have been able to flatten the pandemic’s curve more effectively and rapidly. Countries with women in leadership have suffered six times fewer confirmed deaths from COVID-19 than countries led by men (SocialEurope). This is attributed in part to decisions rooted in evidence and the prioritization of issues of social equality, sustainability and innovation, thereby resulting in more resilient societies.


January 26, 2021