On 14 May, the Swedish Embassy in Chisinau conducted a digital Democracy Talks with UN Women and the civil society organisation Institutum Virtutes Civilis. More than 50 women leaders from around the country came together on Zoom to discuss women’s political participation and local leadership in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Anna Lyberg opened the session and a lively and interactive discussion ensued on women’s participation and leadership in Moldova. Participants shared their experiences and thoughts about the immediate and long-term effects of the pandemic. Peterson Magoola, Representative a.i for UN Women Moldova, stressed the importance of including women’s voices during crises, because they can be perceived as a vulnerable group and left outside of decision-making.
Issues raised during the discussion included the lack of technical resources and digital solutions at local level, which has made work more difficult during the ongoing pandemic. It was also felt that the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the already existing inequalities in society. As schools and preschools are shut, inequalities in the home have become all the more obvious as many women can no longer fully devote themselves to their work.
Apart from highlighting different perspectives regarding the pandemic, the discussion was also an opportunity for participants to renew their commitment to women’s participation and, with each other’s support, raise the issue of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Moldova at all levels.