High-level Roundtable: Women’s Leadership in the COVID-19 Response to Protect Every Woman and Every Child

FORMAT: Virtual 

DATE: 28/05/2020

TIME: 12-1pm GMT, 8-9am EDT


Immediate Steps to Safeguard Progress for Every Woman, Child and Adolescent

Following the High Level Roundtable on 28 May 2020, Every Woman Every Child has released an outcome document identifying 14 actions to respond to the acute challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including concerns about severe and longstanding negative consequences in areas such as sexual and reproductive health (SRH), education and physical and emotional security. 

View document here. 


Mr. Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General, Senior Co-Chair of the Every Woman Every Child High-Level Steering Group 




The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented threat to the core focus of the Every Woman Every Child movement: the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents worldwide. Hard-earned progress in improving their ability to thrive and survive and in creating new opportunities for the world’s most vulnerable people is endangered on nearly all fronts. The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing vulnerabilities and failures in health, social, political and economic systems that ought to safeguard women, children and adolescents.

Following the World Health Assembly and the United Nations Women Rise for All Campaign, the Every Woman Every Child Secretariat, in partnership with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), and Women Deliver, is organising a High-Level Roundtable on Women’s Leadership in the COVID-19 Response to Protect Every Woman and Every Child.

This High-level Roundtable will be co-convened by H.E. Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia, and Co-Chair of the Every Woman Every Child High Level Steering Group (HLSG); and Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Chair of the PMNCH Board; and will include prominent speakers from the United Nations, Governments and Civil Society.


  • To identify best practices and key actions that must be taken to safeguard gains made on Sexual & Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health (SRMNCAH) in the context of the pandemic.
  • To raise awareness of the need to put women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health and well-being at the center of COVID-19 response efforts.
  • To pre-position EWEC stakeholders for high level commitments to be announced at UNGA 2020.



  • Action plan articulating best practices in safeguarding SRMNCAH gains within COVID-19 response and key steps necessary to place women, children and adolescents at the centre of the response.
  • Articulation of appropriate benchmarks to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being, as a marker of the success of the broader COVID-19 response.
  • Identification of champions to advocate for commitment to action and participate in a social media challenge to global donors, leaders and everyone responding to the crisis, to place women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health at the center of their efforts.


H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid 

President of Estonia




Rt. Hon. Helen Clark 

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

PMNCH Board Chair



Ms. Pamela Falk
CBS News Foreign Affairs Analyst


H.E. Ms. Julie Payette

Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada


H.E. Ms. Epsy Campbell Barr

Vice-President of Costa Rica


H.E. Dr Awa Marie Coll-Seck

Minister of State to the President of the Republic of Senegal and Member of the EWEC HLSG

     H.R.H. Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan


Ms. Gabriela Cuevas Barron

President Inter-Parliamentary Union & Member of the EWEC HLSG



Ms. Michelle Bachelet

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 


Ms. Henrietta Fore

Executive Director of UNICEF


Ms. Gerda Verburg

Coordinator Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and Assistant Secretary-General


Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet

Lead and Executive Director Merck for Mothers     @MEtiebetMD

Ms. Amy Pollack

Director Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Ms. Katja Iversen

President & CEO Women Deliver


Jayathma Wickramanayake 

UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth




On 27th May 2020, ahead of the virtual high-level roundtable, Every Woman Every Child & Partners released an opinion piece, published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation titled: ‘Women and children will pay for this pandemic – unless we act’.


  • H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia
  • Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand & PMNCH Board Chair
  • Dr. Jorge Alcocer Varela, Secretary of Health, Mexico
  • Graca Machel, Founder of the Graca Machel Trust & Former PMNCH Board Chair


Read the opinion piece here


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