Remarks at a CSW Interactive Dialogue on Building Back Better: Women’s Participation and Leadership in COVID-19 Response and Recovery

Mara Burr
Director of Multilateral Relations
Office for Global Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, D.C.
March 18, 2021


We have all been in the fight of our lives combating the pandemic, and women have been on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 since the outbreak. I know that we would not be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel without the strong leadership of women in a variety of fields and industries.

The United States recognizes the importance of women’s leadership in the response to the pandemic. We are proud of the women that have been at the forefront:

Vice President Harris leading the charge in support of the historic COVID relief bill providing assistance and support to so many in need; Physicians and healthcare workers at the heart of the response and their commitment to providing care; and the scientists involved in pivotal vaccine discoveries – you all are paving the way for women and girls around the world to be leaders in global health. We are all proud to stand on the shoulders of our strong and brilliant sisters.

Women’s contributions to science, research, and global health before and throughout the pandemic prepared the international community to respond to and recover from emergencies currently affecting the globe. We commemorate our shared success in leading the fight against this pandemic and will continue to support women’s leadership in preparing for and reacting to future health crises to come.

We celebrate the many contributions of women especially in the current struggle against the pandemic. The strong and steady leadership of women in government, science, medicine, education and all areas affected by the pandemic demonstrate how our recovery efforts depend on the full participation of women and how important the role of women is to our society and future.