Private Sector Pulse Check – The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women and Businesses: A Survey of 65 CEOs and Business Leaders in Asia and Europe


With increasing evidence that women are being hit hardest by the crisis, gender-blind response strategies will impede women in their rights and opportunities and pose a serious risk to regional economies. The private sector will play a major role in shaping economic recovery, and thus has as a responsibility to incorporate a gender lens into response measures that ensure a more inclusive recovery overall.

From March to May 2020, WeEmpowerAsia, a UN Women programme funded by and in partnership with the European Union, gathered perspectives on how the pandemic has affected businesses and women through 65 semi-structured interviews with private sector CEOs and leaders in the Asia-Pacific and in Europe. This report summarizes key findings and recommendations on how organizations steered their responses, safeguarded women employees and maintained business continuity. The fact that only twenty-nine per cent of respondents took actions that specifically targeted women – when evidence overwhelmingly shows the pandemic has disproportionately hurt women – shows that businesses need to more consciously integrate a gender perspective into their responses to the pandemic.

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Geographic coverage: Asia and the Pacific
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