Senator Lines, representing the CWP and the Australian Parliament at the Forum, discussed the impact of COVID-19 on progress towards economic and social equality for women. She urged governments to create gender-aware recovery strategies and find new, innovative solutions to women’s issues to prevent a reversal of progress on gender equality in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Founded in 2018, the Forum provides women leaders from around the world the opportunity to connect across sectors and to share solutions for fostering equality in decision-making and building back better post-COVID-19. Held online over the course of three days and consisting of panels, keynote speeches, interviews and other events, this year’s digital forum was attended by prominent women leaders from politics, business and entertainment, including former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, philanthropist Melinda Gates and Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, leader of the opposition in Belarus.
Senator Lines began by acknowledging the recent passing of Susan Ryan, Australia’s first female Labor party cabinet minister and a ‘trailblazer for Australian women in politics’. Ryan, Lines said, had pioneered the Women’s Budget Statement, which surveyed the impact of budget allocations on women’s rights. The need for gender analyses of policy, she said, was needed now more than ever to ensure the response to the pandemic does not disrupt years of progress on gender equality. According to recent studies, the Senator said, women are facing increased job insecurity and have been disproportionately impacted by the pressures of working from home. At the same time, incidents of domestic abuse have risen sharply during lockdowns around the world.