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Community Contribution

Women Respond: Listening to Women to Transform COVID-19 Response

Kalkidan Lakew Yihun

In the context of COVID-19, CARE launched a global initiative called Women Respond, which aims to listen to women and girls and support their efforts to inform and influence local, national, and global responses.

Women Respond is inspired by the need to effectively adapt and respond to the gender dimensions of the pandemic, and it builds on CARE’s Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) work (, needs assessments, and our long-standing relationships with women in communities and all over the world. The COVID-19 crisis created pressure to adapt responses quickly and to meet the immediate needs of communities. CARE conducted RGAs in dozens of countries, giving us a unique opportunity to compare and learn from global data about men’s and women’s needs and priorities and recommend changes based on women’s voices and experiences.

Women Respond enables women’s voices to reach stakeholders across CARE, partners, and communities. Data gathered across 6 countries on the impact of the pandemic on women's lives, their immediate needs, and their locally led response enables CARE to support women in Savings Groups and their communities. CARE conducts rapid data collection with 7500 people (80% women) followed by reflection sessions to understand how CARE and partners should shift programs to respond to the stated needs of women. Findings are also shared with women and girls and jointly reflected on with local actors to support locally led response. The trends and gaps identified through the learning and reflection process help shape programming and global advocacy to meet the immediate and urgent needs of women and the impact of the pandemic on their lives and livelihoods.

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