July 15, 2020

The COVID-19 health crisis has caused unprecedented impact on global supply chains and capital flows. These changes are having, and will continue to have, a negative impact on SMEs and microbusinesses, particularly in developing countries. Women and other marginalized communities who are disproportionately impacted by shocks are most at risk.  It is important to highlight the central role of gender in COVID-19 responses by adopting gender sensitive and power equitable approaches in response and recovery efforts.This brief discusses the COVID-19 responses of gender-lens investors in Southeast Asia that are applying a gender lens through a spectrum of approaches. The review assesses published responses from leading gender lens investors in the region. Building on this analysis, and on Criterion Institute’s power analysis framework, we provide recommendations for future investment with attention to gender and power dynamics in order to enhance the overall stability and sustainability of market systems.

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