HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari participated as a key speaker in the virtual high-level meeting on the impact women leaders in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting was organised by Qatar represented by its Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, along with Costa Rica, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sweden and the African Union.
The meeting was opened by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed with the participation of Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani and a large number of women leaders in various sectors such as public health, social services and foreign affairs from countries across the world.
HE Dr al-Kuwari highlighted the important role women are playing in the fight against Covid-19 pointing out that women constitute a high percentage of healthcare workers in the frontline fighting against the pandemic and protecting the society.
HE also talked about Qatar’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and curb its spread, through a comprehensive approach characterised by co-ordinated efforts between various sectors in the State, and according to a national response action plan that was prepared to protect members of society as a whole, taking into account the special needs of women in Qatar.
She stressed the importance of the international co-operation and the exchange of experiences in the fight against Covid-19 in order to control it and curb its spread, noting that Qatar, under the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has been working on promoting the international co-operation and the humanitarian solidarity to combat the pandemic and enhance the rapid response to the its repercussions. Qatar provided medical assistance to more than 20 countries, in addition to financial contributions of $140mn to multilateral healthcare institutions working in vaccine development. The State was also keen on ensuring the efficiency of healthcare, especially in the least developed countries. On Thursday His Highness the Amir announced at the World Vaccine Summit 2020 a new pledge by Qatar to provide $20mn to the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi).
HE the Minister also underlined the significant role carried out by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser at the local and international levels, noting that she has joined the global initiative “Rise for All” which includes a group of women leaders, launched in support of the UN Secretary-General’s call for solidarity and collective action to address the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
The high-level meeting aimed to exchange good practices, and discuss the challenges that must be addressed to combat the pandemic and the common solutions to this global problem from the perspective of women in leadership.
The meeting touched on a number of issues, most importantly increasing the role of women in global health, the overall impact of the Covid-19 on women, the benefit of health policies and programmes designed and implemented by women leaders, the global co-operation and solidarity to combat the pandemic, ensuring that women and girls are at the heart of the socioeconomic response efforts, and the social protection efforts to recover from Covid-19 by ensuring the economic stimulus that is targeted at women specifically.
The meeting also discussed the implications of Covid-19 on the mental health of women and girls, ensuring that rebuilding after Covid-19 leads to equality, including encouraging comprehensive economic models that support equality between genders and discussing ways to ensure that all political responses to the crisis take into account the unique needs, responsibilities and perspectives of women.
It is worth mentioning that women working in the health sector constitute 67 % of the workforce in the health sector, according to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation in 104 countries.