Resolution on Promoting Gender-Sensitive COVID-19 Response and Post-Pandemic Recovery

29th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
13-15 December 2021

Resolution on Promoting Gender-Sensitive COVID-19 Response and Post-Pandemic Recovery

APPF29/RES/12

Draft Resolution Sponsored by: Republic of Korea, Australia, Russian Federation and Vietnam

We, the parliamentarians of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), participating in the 29th Annual Meeting of the APPF held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, under the theme The Role of Parliaments in Strengthening Resilience in the Post-Covid-19 Era:

Recalling the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 adopted by APEC Leaders in 2020, which commits to achieve an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific Community by 2040 for the prosperity of all our people and future generations;

Reaffirming our commitment to implementing the resolutions adopted by the APPF Women Parliamentarians Meeting, including the Resolution on Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Decision-Making at All Levels (APPF28/RES/07) adopted in Canberra, Australia, in 2020 and the Resolution on Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Decision-Making at All Levels (APPF27/RES/03) adopted in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2019,

Bearing in mind the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, which emphasizes the importance of achieving gender equality and empowering every woman and girl for inclusive growth that “leaves no one behind,”

Noting the spirit of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which underlined the need for developing and implementing gender-responsive policies to eliminate discrimination against women in various fields,

Recalling the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which called for the elimination of discrimination and violence against women, thereby putting violence against women on the international human rights agenda for the first time,

Noting that women’s employment is under serious threat as they are overrepresented in certain industries such as service sectors and non-standard employment that are vulnerable to abrupt changes and they are having a hard time recovering from job losses and career interruption caused by COVID-19,

Expressing concern that situations of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts, can have a disproportionately negative impact on women and worsen gender-based inequalities,

Recognizing that gender perspectives are not reflected in major decision-making processes for pandemic response due to women’s exclusion from such processes when many of them are frontline healthcare workers with high risk of infection,

Acknowledging the critical role of women in COVID-19 prevention, response and recovery efforts, which has been crucial in delivering health services, maintaining social cohesion and preventing further instability,

Noting the significance of innovation and digital technology to the economic growth, enabling the future of the region and the world, as well as being an effective solution for gender-sensitive COVID-19 response and post-pandemic recovery,

RESOLVE TO:

  1. Remind APPF Member Countries that no pandemic response is complete without gender perspectives, recognizing the serious challenges that COVID-19 brought to women in all areas, including human rights, health, and the economy;
  2. Urge APPF Member Countries to take actions that ensure the safety and comprehensive development of women and children during and after the pandemic, and enable women to participate in and benefit fully from the recovery, as well as carry the APEC Vision 2040 towards the strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth;
  3. Call upon APPF Member Countries to share their experiences on best practices and improve the legal framework to address women’s issues caused by COVID-19; to enhance the representation and leadership of women in decision-making at all levels, particularly on COVID-19 recovery plans, gender-responsive COVID-19 legislation and oversight of government action on the pandemic from a gender perspective;
  4. Call upon APPF Member Countries to cooperate to espouse the goal of equitable vaccine distribution and to ensure that women and children have equal access to vaccine and drugs;
  5. Recommend APPF Member Countries to consider the human rights of women and gender equality and allocate more financial resources to these areas in the process of developing and implementing policies for COVID-19;
  6. Recommend Member Countries to promote the incorporation of gender perspectives by ensuring the representation of women in pandemic response bodies such as COVID-19 task forces when developing policies for COVID-19 response and post-pandemic recovery;
  7. Call on women parliamentarians of APPF Member Countries to participate actively in discussions and government oversight efforts with regard to COVID-19 response incorporating gender perspectives;
  8. Encourage APPF Member Countries to support modelling, collection, tracking and management of quality data on the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and utilize such data in developing appropriate crisis response measures;
  9. Encourage APPF Member Countries to implement and strengthen inclusive digital strategies that actively aim to address gender digital divide;
  10. Call upon APPF Member Countries to develop and implement policies to address the adverse effects of COVID-19 on female employment, including those aimed at diversifying women’s employment, improving an unstable working environment, and helping women to overcome career interruption;
  11. Acknowledge the importance of fully unlocking the potential of women’s participation in the economy and the development of women’s entrepreneurship for the recovery of the world economy from the crisis associated with post-pandemic recovery;
  12. Request APPF Member Countries to enforce and strengthen policies to prevent all forms of violence against women including domestic violence and to protect female victims, expressing concern over a surge in domestic violence against women amid the prolonged pandemic; and
  13. Urge APPF Member Countries to enhance international and inter-parliamentary cooperation to address the disproportionate gendered impacts of COVID-19, build fairer and more resilient societies in the long run and strengthen our ability to respond collectively, using a gender-responsive approach to any such crisis and recovery process in the future.


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Resolution on Promoting Gender-Sensitive COVID-19 Response and Post-Pandemic Recovery

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