Women hold 70% of jobs in the health workforce, but when a health emergency strikes we hear the message: ‘Step aside, ladies, men coming through to fix this’.

The current  COVID-19 crisis has been no different. Women are the experts who know the most about the health systems they keep functioning, day in and day out. But COVID-19 task forces and other decision-making groups are on average less than 20% female. 














Decisions made by COVID-19 task forces that are not diverse or gender-equitable will be flawed decisions: bad for women, bad for health systems and bad for the whole of society. How can we end this pandemic if the leadership doesn't reflect the insights, know-how, and expertise on the ground?

There are also other important questions about the implications of approaches that are not gender-responsive:

  • How can we understand and prevent the increase gender-based violence seen as stay at home orders are enacted?

  • What policies can help home-based work be fairly balanced with unpaid care such as housework and childcare?

  • How can we best protect mostly female frontline healthcare workers who are working with personal protective equipment designed for men?

  • How can we ensure mostly-female community health ‘volunteers’ are appropriately supported and compensated for the increased risk they face during a pandemic?

WGH Action Labs will be interactive panel discussions that will drive local advocacy. We will facilitate participants to engage, enable and ignite a gender-transformative agenda in health by releasing advocacy tools at the end of each session, linked to our #COVID5050 Five Asks for Gender-Responsive Health Security. 

Action labs are curated in partnership with the Johnson and Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation


We ask that YOU to join us, add your voice and 

Engage! Enable! And Ignite Action!

The global health security system isn’t broken, it was built unequally from the beginning. Let's change that. Gender Equality can’t wait till the next pandemic.

ACTION LAB 1: REGISTER HERE  (July 16, 2020 9-10:230 AM EST) 

ACTION LAB 2: REGISTER HERE (September 24, 2020 9-10:30 AM EST)

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Action Labs


Women, Leadership & Power

July 16 at 9am ET

Focus on women in global health security decision-making and women's leadership within the health and social care workforce. 


Include women in global health security decision making structures and public discourse


Turn Applause into Action

September 2020

Focus on safe and decent conditions for women health workers


Provide health workers, most of whom are women, with safe and decent working conditions



Flying with the 'A team'

October 2020

Will explore recognizing, recording and rewarding women’s unpaid health and social care work


Recognize the value of women’s unpaid care work by including it in the formal labor marketand redistributing unpaid family care equally



Build Back with Gender Equality

November 2020

Will center a discussion on gender-responsive health


Adopt a gender-sensitive approach to health security and response management



Pulling the Purse Strings

December 2020

Will discuss the importance of investing in gender equality and women's movements for better health outcomes.


Fund women’s movements to unleash capacity to address critical gender issues


Download Our Detailed Five Asks: