Expected by some to be the ‘great leveller’, the COVID-19 crisis has ultimately laid bare the world’s persistent inequalities. Particularly obvious have been the ways in which different genders have experienced the pandemic. Instances of domestic violence rose across the globe. Women reported difficulties in accessing essential reproductive health services. They provided childcare when schools closed – often alongside careers and the unpaid labour for which they are already largely responsible. As nations look ahead to post-crisis recovery and transformation, they have a duty to ensure that no one is lost in the transition. Building back better will require gender inclusion both in representation and as active players in the recovery. This Strategic Conversation with Nahla Valji, Senior Gender Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, and Margo Thomas, Founder and CEO of the Women’s Economic Imperative, will look at the specific challenges faced by women during the crisis, and suggest what must be done to ensure an inclusive, gender-focussed recovery.

This new Strategic Conversations series invites key policymakers to share their views on a range of important and strategically relevant issues through interviews with senior thinkers on the Friends of Europe team. Watch the full video below.