I seek your views on the following: 

1. Importance of diverse leadership teams in achieving improved outcomes

2.Opportunities for promoting intersectional women’s leadership and women’s decision-making power in humanitarian action

3.Suggest recommendations to advance sector-wide action to improve inclusion within humanitarian institutions.

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My colleagues at Monash University have written this which might be of help: https://lens.monash.edu/@celebrating-influential-women/2021/03/08/1...

Thank you Sara, a very useful brief. 

 Hello Madhumita Sarkar, USAID has a COVID_and_Gender_Technical_Briefing. Let me know if you have a moment to speak and we can go through it- below is a brief; 

COVID-19 will have long-term effects across a range of sectors in countries around the world, potentially countering development gains, including those related to gender equality, including;
  • increasing men and women’s vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition
  • widening gender poverty gaps
  • increasing incidence of gender-based violence
  •  exacerbating burdens of unpaid work
  •  increasing exposure and risk of COVID-19 for frontline workers 
  • hindering men and women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services, and
  • intensifying forms of violence and discrimination

Our learning from previous responses to global public health emergencies and pandemics has made clear that integrating a commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment in activity design and implementation is vital to supporting affected communities and saving lives. Within this context, it is critical to adapt programming to respond to how COVID-19 is affecting women and girls, men and boys of different ages, disabilities, ethnicities, races, and socio-economic and demographic groups.

Challenges of women peacebuilders and human rights defenders. Women peacebuilders and
human rights defenders are on the frontline of the COVID-19 response in many crisis- and conflictaffected countries. They are providing MHPSS services through traditional methods and playing a key
role in gathering information on current COVID-19 situations in local communities and relaying it to
local and national authorities. They are also providing critical “soft security” at a time when COVID-19
threatens to destabilize conflict zones and UN peacekeeping missions are limited. At the same time,
these women have faced increased threats and insecurities during the pandemic as a result of backlashes
toward respect for human rights.210 Recommendations: (1) Support bottom-up conflict resolution
and prevention through formal partnerships with women peacebuilder organizations. (2) Provide short and long-term financial and technical support to women peacebuilders and women’s rights organizations
for their COVID-19 response work and post-pandemic agenda to develop the next generation of
women peacebuilders.211 (3) Advocate for implementing special protective measures for women
peacebuilders and women human rights defenders (e.g., sanctions against perpetrators, support services
for survivors of threats and harassment). Related Sectors: Economic Growth, Education, GBV and SEA

Thank you Shamsha, I will go through the brief you have provided, could we fix a time to speak on this tomorrow? does 3 pm India time work for you? we can speak on skype. madhumita28.


Sure, I can't find your Skype address. Let's touch base separately and see what works. 

Hi Madhumita Sarkar.... just a small add on what have been raised by others in here re the increased women   vulnerability to domestic violence due to the pandemic. As for the economic impacts, there have been some works already conducted by the World Bank, UN Women, ILO and other relevant international organizations. One of the key issue that you may touch upon is on women leadership and participation in Small and Micro Enterprises where women form the majority of both business owners and workers. This can be of particular concern due to the true fact that women are the backbones of family coping strategies through their SMEs. This can be part of no (2)  re opportunities for promoting intersectional women's leadership and women's decision making power in humanitarian action. The Economic empowerment is key for women leadership in humanitarian action, especially in linking relief and rehabilitation actions. This is also bearing in mind that the pandemic hits not only health but also economy. Good luck for your program. Kind regards. Yulia

Thank you Yulia,

you have raised an extremely important issue, i shall use this in my presentation. 


Thanks a lot Sara, Shamsa and Yulia for your quick response to Madhumita.

Hello Madhumita, 

Thanks for your post - I've done some internal trainings on the first and tangentially, second questions. Would be happy to share some ideas and insights. Let me know if you still need any help! 


Yes please do share your thoughts. Sanjukta, what are your thoughts on

importance of financing and accountability for promoting women and leadership and more equitable decision-making structures.

 I do see in humanitarian situations many women led organisations cannot participate because fo poor funding and also those working for organisations cannot continue because of poor policies. 

any thoughts on this??



Hi Madhumita,

Preparing the local community is very imp so that they can respond immediately and not wait for outsiders. i recall in our work in a fishing community which was flood, women kept grains as a reservoir 

Let team in the community emerge organically at the same time ensure it is representative. I have used Constellation's SALT approach to build cohesive teams in communities.

Here is a story of what communities in Himachal did during COVID for better health as we were working with them on diabetes and hypertension. https://aidscompetence.ning.com/profiles/blogs/everyone-is-a-leader....

All the best for your presentation.

Thanks a Lot Rituu , extremely grateful to this forum...



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