Giving Compass' Take:

• Melinda Gates lays out a six-part attack plan that places a premium on women in COVID recovery efforts in order to successfully survive the crisis.

• How are women at a higher risk of economic and medical suffering than men during the pandemic? Why will it be impossible to end the coronavirus crisis without proper recognition of women's voices? 

• Read about how the coronavirus is affecting women entrepreneurs more than men.

Philanthropist Melinda Gates is proposing a roadmap to ensure women are not left behind in COVID-19 recovery.

Gates penned an article in Foreign Affairs magazine on Wednesday, that highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting women and girls and makes recommendations to guarantee they survive the crisis.

Here are six steps the world can take to protect women against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Gates.

1. Make women’s health care an essential service.

In low- and middle-income countries, COVID-19 could cause 113,000 maternal deaths, but they can be prevented, Gates said. Access to sexual and reproductive health care for every woman in every country, and adapting maternal care to the constraints of the pandemic could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

2. Protect health care workers.

Health workers — 70% of whom are women — should receive first priority when the COVID-19 vaccine is developed, Gates said.

3. Tailor economic relief efforts to women’s needs.

Social protection programs can ensure women have the means to buy nutritious food to feed their families, for instance.

4. Close the digital gender gap.

Women in low- and middle-income countries are less likely than men to have access to mobile phones, limiting their access to information, online banking, and the online marketplace.

5. Incentivize unpaid work. 

The longer women continue to handle more household responsibilities than men, the longer COVID-19 recovery will take, and economies will suffer.

6. Listen to women.

Women lack representation in leadership and government around the world, but they must be included in COVID-19 response planning. Women from diverse backgrounds and experiences hold the answers, Gates said. Grassroots women’s organizations that have deep ties with marginalized communities are the key to making sure no one is left behind.

Read the full article about women's COVID recovery by Leah Rodriguez at Global Citizen.