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Piscopo J. and M. Och (2021). “Feminist Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic: Women Leading in Adverse Circumstances” in Gender and Development 29 (2-3): 547-568

This article analyses how women governors, mayors, and local elected officials promoted public health and social protection in countries where men chief executives failed to take steps to contain the virus. We focus on adverse circumstances in six cases: Brazil, the United States, the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, and India. While individual women may not see their leadership in feminist terms, their pandemic response contrasted with men chief executives’ hypermasculine bravado and slapdash decision-making. Women leaders relied on science, co-ordinated community outreach, and attended to the needs of marginalised groups. Their stories reveal women’s resiliency, resourcefulness, and resolve at the local level.

This working paper is part of UN Women’s research efforts to highlight the importance of women’s leadership and participation in decision-making during the pandemic and beyond. The working paper tackles the question of how women leaders at the national and subnational levels of government managed COVID-19 response and recovery during the pandemic’s first 15 months, from January 2020 through March 2021.

The paper finds that women leaders placed premiums on effective leadership, rapid response, and socially inclusive policies as they understood that the effects of the pandemic would reach far beyond public health, affecting every aspect of society and disproportionately harming women and girls.

The publication also maps out lessons learned and recommendations on how to ensure women participate in and influence decision-making during the pandemic response and recovery.

The United States is one of seven countries and the only advanced industrialized country in the world that has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Being frustrated with the slow (or non-existent) pace of Senate ratification since 1981, the Cities for CEDAW campaign decided that American women can no longer wait for the U.S. Senate to act. Cities for CEDAW is a national campaign which encourages American municipalities to adopt a CEDAW ordinance to enshrine the international gender norms of substantive gender equity and nondiscrimination into municipal codes. The report focuses on two key questions: (1) how have other cities implemented a CEDAW ordinances; and (2) what kind of implementation is feasible for the City and County of Denver.

Och, M. 2018. Campaign Donors. A Report for the Reflective Democracy Campaign.

Summarizes challenges and opportunities for women and minority candidates to raise campaign funds.

SSN Basic Fact.

Reports: List

Political Parity. 2015. Where Women Win.

Oversaw production as Research Director of Political Parity.

Political Parity. 2015. Clearing the Primary Hurdles. Republican Women and the GOP Gender Gap.

Oversaw Production as Research Director of Political Parity.

Political Parity. 2016. PATH TO PARITY. How Women Run and Win. A Reader.


Political Parity. 2015. Research Inventory.

Oversaw Production as Research Director of Political Parity.

Reports: List
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