Factsheet 2: Women representation, diversity and inclusion in decision-making

Ensure gender-balanced decision-making and the involvement of civil society organisations

SUMMARY: Several studies highlight the extent of women’s under-representation in decision-making and the invisibility of their voices in policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. A greater representation of women in decision-making, combined with an explicit focus on diversity and inclusion, can make a significant contribution in overturning the worst effects of Covid-19 responses on inequalities. A higher women’s presence in decision-making means that women’s interests are more likely to be addressed in policy discussions and outcomes.



Increase gender equality, diversity and inclusion in public authorities and decision-making bodies

  1. Ensure gender parity in expert-decision making committees, task forces and advisory bodies.
  2. Women should be represented at all levels of decision making. As our data show, having visible female leaders has a positive impact on gender equality. However, gender competence building, together with increased women’s representation, should be implemented across government agencies and other decision making and implementing bodies.
  3. Women and men from vulnerable groups should be represented in policy deliberations. Representation of women and men with a migration background, women and men from ethnic minority groups, as well as those representing people with different abilities, are among examples of such groups

Increase gender balance in media scientific and political communication

Scientific and political communication of the Covid-19 pandemic in the media cannot be the preserve of men alone, and women cannot be left with only minor and stereotypical roles in the communication process. More attention must also be given to different lines of communication in providing information to cover all segments of the population.

Collaborate with Civil society organisations (CSOs)

The collaboration between public authorities and CSOs should be strengthened. Country examples show (e.g. in Sweden) the strategic importance of collaboration between central institutions and organisations at the regional and local level, particularly those that are in contact with vulnerable groups of women and men. The activities of CSOs targeting specific groups of people are for public authorities an excellent example of the need to adopt intersectional approaches when addressing issues related to the pandemic.

Read the full factsheet with findings from RESISTIRE’s policy mapping, expert consultations, and better stories!