Current | Agenda


The gender dimension of foreign policy in the response to COVID-19

Date: 10-06-2020
Time: 4:00 - 5:00

Gender equality is both a goal in its own right and an accelerator for all other goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. International organisations such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the United Nations are supporting efforts for a gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda including co-operation policies and external actions.
Countries such as Argentina, Canada, Finland, France, Iceland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Mexico and the United Kingdom are leading the way by promoting and adopting progressive gender equality policies at national and international level. Sweden has shown true leadership in this process.
Women’s rights and empowerment are also at the centre of the work and activities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is currently preparing a report on the gender dimension of foreign policy.
Work and research in this area show that despite some progress in the past decades, gender-based discrimination in all aspects of life persists. Furthermore, the negative impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic is felt disproportionately by different groups, including women and minorities. The pandemic crisis has once again shown the prevalence and devastating impact of domestic violence, the absence of essential services and increasing efforts to curtail women’s rights, including sexual, reproductive and health rights. The situation demonstrates the need for leadership and political commitment to uphold women’s rights. There can be no efficient response to the pandemic, or any international crisis, without an inclusive, coordinated and gendered approach.
This webinar aims at raising awareness of the importance of a gender dimension of foreign policy, including in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as exchanging good practices and recommendations on the way forward.
Welcome Remarks
  • Wojciech Sawicki, Secretary General, Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe 
Petra Stienen, Rapporteur on the Gender Dimension of Foreign Policy, Parliamentary Assembly, Council of EuropeBert Koenders, Professor of Peace, Justice and Security at Leiden University (Kooijmans Chair), Special Envoy of the World Bank for Fragile States, Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group and Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing PersonsAnn Bernes, Swedish Ambassador for Gender Equality and Coordinator of Feminist Foreign PolicySamira Rafaela, Member of the European ParliamentDelphine O, Secretary General of the Generation Equality Forum 2020-2021, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, FranceJennifer Cassidy (PhD), Lecturer at University of Oxford, Editor of the book ‘Gender and Diplomacy’, Former diplomat 
The webinar will be streamed live on the Facebook page of the Parliamentary Network Women Free from Violence.