Over 50 women leaders from various districts of the Republic of Moldova met online for #DemocracyTalks to share their experiences as front liners in the crisis

During an online round table session under the generic #DemocracyTalks: “Women’s leadership in pandemic context: a perspective of women leaders at local level”, more than 50 women leaders from across the country discussed a gender-focused response to the COVID-19 crisis and shared the experiences on combating immediate and long-term effects of the pandemic at the grassroots level.

Date: Friday, May 15, 2020

Anna Lyberg
H.E Anna Lyberg, the Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova. Credit: UN Women Moldova

The event was supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Chisinau and H.E Anna Lyberg, the Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova opened the session with a message addressed to participants: ‘As part of the Swedish drive for democracy and the #DemocracyTalks on Womens’s leadership in pandemic context, it is interesting to hear and to learn more about the experience of women leaders at local level; how they act, how they are combating immediate and long-term effects of the COVID-19 and what challenges they face. Because this is not just a health issue and it is not gender-blind - it has very substantial implications for gender equality both during the crisis and also in the recovery phase. Today’s event is a good occasion for dialogue and experience sharing, but also for preparation for the future, post-COVID-19'.

Peterson Magoola
Peterson Magoola, Representative a.i for UN Women Moldova. Credit: UN Women Moldova 

‘At the global level we see women taking leadership and making very difficult decisions in managing COVID-19 and its impact. As well, we see in Moldova women in leadership roles and those at the forefront of making bold decisions and ensuring that the national response to COVID-19 also addressed the needs of women and girls. More often, that the decision makers are looking at women only as at vulnerable group, without giving them a chance to be a part of decision-making processes and deliberations. It is important to have more women participating, and contributing to decision-making on governance, accountability and resource allocation in addressing COVID-19, as well as ensuring that the voices and needs of the vulnerable women are taken into consideration in all COVID-19 interventions’ – said Peterson Magoola, Representative a.i for UN Women Moldova, commended the efforts of women participating in decision making on local level.

This roundtable comes as a space for women leaders from various districts of Moldova to deliver their key strategies, concerns and experience, recalling their critical role as front liners in the crisis. At the same time, the session provided an opportunity to renew participants’ commitment and support to the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment at all levels beyond the outbreak.

Victoria Butuc-Guranda
Victoria Butuc-Guranda, mayor of Danceni village at her first mandate. Credit: UN Women Moldova

‘This COVID-19 outbreak is a very difficult experience, especially for mayors in their first mandate. And we feel the need of a very clear and balanced dialogue with national authorities to be able to face all the challenges. In the commission of exceptional situations in our locality 7 members out of nine are women. Mayor, social worker and the sector police officer are also women, so we are in power, but I want to mention that men didn’t leave us to face all the challenges without their support’ - shared the experiences Victoria Butuc-Guranda, mayor of Danceni village at her first mandate.

Agnesa Grecova, local councilor from the Moscovei community, Cahul District, during the session raised the issue which are facing a lot of mothers during the COVID-19 outbreak: ‘Women with children of over 3 years old are vulnerable now as they are not receiving any more financial support from the state and at the same time do not have possibility to be employed as kindergartens are not working and there aren’t job offers because of the pandemic. Many of them raise their children alone and have no other sources of funding’

As an outcome of the round table, will be elaborated a narrative of the experiences and challenges women leaders are dealing with at the local level.

The round table #DemocracyTalks: ‘Women’s leadership in pandemic context: a perspective of women leaders at local level’ was facilitated by the ‘Institutum Virtutes Civilis’ Association and supported by UN Women Moldova and Sweden.