Africa: The Covid-19 Pandemic Has Exposed Africa's Fragile Health Systems and the Vulnerability of Women

Kinanata Sali Yaya, 27, is an entrepreneur who started a mask-making business with her sister and brother in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Central African Republic (file photo).

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a sharp focus on the precarious position of women in Africa, and on the state of health systems on the continent. Both need support and strengthening.

International relations has had to assume a key role in responding to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Prior to the pandemic going global, multilateralism had been severely marginalised by isolationist policies and attacks on multi-talented institutions.

Diplomacy is often the ability to build networks and to use them maximally when needed. Picking up the phone and calling colleagues for assistance and support may not be part of the political armour provided in training, but for foreign relations it's an indispensable art.

The year 2019 was one that signalled significant practical action in support of gender equality globally -- 2020 was to be the year in which 20 years of the UN Women, Peace and Security agenda would be celebrated and reinforced, 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action and the beginning of the implementation of the UN Generation Equality Forum's practical action.

The UN Generation Equality Forum is one of the most promising international women's movements since Beijing. It is made more important by the advocacy and...

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