"This crisis has hit women hard, but it has also shown their extraordinary strength. They have played a vital role in the forefront of health workers around the world. This was the statement given by Vice Minister Marina Sereni at the online meeting on the role of women in the fight against Covid-19. The conference was co-organized by the Italian Representation to the United Nations together with the Representations of some other countries and opened by Vice Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.
"As a result of the lockdown - continued the Vice Minister - there has been a dramatic increase in domestic violence and abuse against women. It must be clear that with Covid-19, there is a clear risk of seeing a dangerous step backwards in women's living conditions and gender equality.
The defence and promotion of women's fundamental rights must be at the heart of all efforts to combat the Virus. Women's participation in the labour market, new services to families, in promotion of women's leadership roles in the economy and society must be among the priorities of the Recovery Plans. Women must be fully involved in the decision-making process".
"Italy - explained Sereni - has long been committed to preventing violence and promoting women's rights. We intend to make the most of every opportunity, also through our next presidency of the G20 in 2021. We want to keep the attention on this issue as well as on some issues that emerged at the conference such as food security, the need to keep supply chains open, debt sustainability".
"We are dealing with huge problems, but I believe that this pandemic also offers us the opportunity to renew our commitment to promoting women's rights and empowerment. All this - concluded the Vice Minister - working together as women, at national, regional, and global level".