- Key decision-makers responsible for the development of pandemic preparedness, response, and recovery plan
This brief outlines the process of creating a gender-responsive pandemic plan, which takes into consideration the intersectional needs of women, men, and gender minorities in planning, data collection, response and recovery. It also highlights the importance of multi-sectoral partnerships and the meaningful participation of diverse voices, particularly women and women-led organisations, in developing and executing effective solutions.
Additionally, this brief describes the gendered impacts of pandemics on six priority areas – gender-based violence; mental health; sexual and reproductive health; economic and work-related concerns, including livelihoods, the informal work sector, and unpaid care work; and education.
The Gender-Responsive Pandemic Plan Framework presented in the brief provides illustrative examples of activities that can be implemented before, during, and after pandemics to achieve desired outcomes for each of these areas.
Due to the dynamic nature of pandemics, approaches may change as the disease course evolves; however, the incorporation of gender should remain constant. Throughout this evolving process, it is critical that multilevel, intersectional disaggregated data is collected ethically, and that the data is analysed, applied, and disseminated to inform evidence-based pandemic planning and implementation.
Integrate lessons learned from previous health emergencies into preparedness strategies, collect and analyse intersectional gender data, and monitor indicators to identify priorities and needs. Use findings from gender analyses to determine priorities, design a budget monitoring strategy, and decide when and how to allocate financial and material resources to programs that target vulnerable groups.
Identify key partners, including local organisations that represent vulnerable populations, that can implement and oversee response and recovery efforts. Draft targeted social, economic, and health policies to protect and support communities in the event of a pandemic.
Stakeholders who have already undertaken the measures in the ‘Before’ section should implement their response strategy based on the current epidemiological context and continue to assess and monitor the process and outcomes. Less prepared stakeholders should undertake a rapid gender analysis to identify priorities, risks, capacity, and resources to inform their response. All activities should be done in collaboration and coordination with multi-sectoral partners. Be prepared to adapt priorities and activities based on new information.
Pivot to recovery and reconstruction while maintaining support for vulnerable populations. Regularly assess implementation progress and conduct iterative after-action reviews to identify lessons learned and, where necessary, adapt future preparedness plans.