The Covid-19 pandemicand the resultant economic fallout have affected gender equality in a negative way all over the world. A recent UN study reportsthat there is a strong adverse impact of the pandemic on the livelihoods of women, and it is feared that this disproportionate impact may “further compound pre-existing gender inequalities” in developing countries, like Pakistan, and reverse the progress made thus far. Job losses around the globe resulting from the pandemic are 1.8 times higher for females than for males (McKinsey, 2020). A survey conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action, 2020, shows that in some countries half of the female population, in sharp contrast to only a third of the male population, has zero earnings due to the pandemic.Low-paying jobs in the informal sector and in sectors where most of the women work have beenthe hardest hit. In Pakistan, 70% of the women work in the informal sector, where job losses due to the pandemic have been the highest. In the rural areas of the country, women have lost their incomesbecause they are unable to sell their products during the pandemic. Furthermore, most of the small and medium enterprises owned by women in developing countries are in the services, hospitality, and retail trade sectors, which are more likely to close due to shutdowns. According to the World Bank,due to shrinking capital markets, the pandemic will make access to finances in the future even more difficult for small enterprises that are owned and led by women.This will make economic revival for such businessesmore challenging. According to UNWOMEN (2020), women make up most of the health and social care workforce around the world and, as frontline workers, face higher risks of infection from the coronavirus. In Pakistan, over 70% of frontline health workers are women. With a limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and inadequate health facilities, they are more likely to be infected compared to workers in other segments of society. According to the global digital divide report, 2018, women in pakistan are 37% less likely to own a mobile phone, and only 12% of women have access to internet services as compared to 21% of men Women’s time poverty has worsened during Covid-19 lockdowns. The pandemic has significantly increased women’s unpaid domestic and care responsibilities as more family members have begun to stay at home. According to data from the World Bank, Pakistani women on average spend 10.5 times more time than men on unpaid domestic and care work, such as housework, child rearing, caring for the sick and elderly, etc. Thus, they have less time to spend on paid work, their health, and on enhancing their skills. With the advent of the pandemic and its aftermath, they are likely to become even more time poor. The increased burden of unpaid work on women may also have negative implications on long-term educational outcomes. As schools close due to social distancing, girls, who already face pressure to drop out, may not return to schools at all. Parents may pullout girls from school due to economic pressures,in order for them to take care ofsiblings, and for supporting their households financially. InPakistan, almost 32% of primary school-aged girls are already not enrolled in school, in contrast to only 21% of primary school-aged boys. The pandemic will further widen this gap. Violence against women has also increased, both in developed and developing countries, due to the pandemic. According to UNFPA, the incidence of gender-based violence has, on average, surged by over 20%in countries most affected by Covid-19. In Pakistan, violence against women is already an issue of great concern. The 2017-2018 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey reports that 28 % of women aged 15-49 years have experienced physical violence, and 34% of married and divorced women have suffered through physical, sexual or emotional spousal violence. Stay-at-home orders and mobility restrictions have increased women’s exposure to violent partners andfamily members, and a surge in domestic violence, honour killings, and gender-based violence in the country has been seen. As a result, the pandemic is also causing a mental health crisis especially for women. In addition, the pandemic isreinforcing the existing large gender digitaldivide. The gender gap in mobile and internet use is 20% in the Middle East and North Africa, 37 % in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 51 % in South Asia. A severe gender digital divide exists in Pakistan as well. According to the Global Digital Divide Report, 2018, women in Pakistan are 37% less likely to own a mobile phone, and only 12% of women have access to internet services as compared to 21% of men. Women’s lack of digital skills limits their ability to use technology during the pandemic and, therefore, they are less likely to be engaged in jobs that use the internet and are unlikely to enhance their skills through online training. Covid-19 has forced governments to divert resources towards dealing with the pandemic and away from priorities like general health, which may have far-reaching detrimental effects on the health of vulnerable groups. Smart investment decisions and sound policies are needed to get back on track for achieving gender equality, especially in the healthcare sector. In the short term, governments must ensure delivery of proper PPEs to frontline workers, design special stimulus packages for vulnerable women, strengthen protection services for victims of gender-based violence, and facilitate harassment-free assistance distribution, to ease the effects of the pandemic. Implementing new social protection programs that are even more targeted towards women, improving gender-disaggregated data collection, and expanding research on economic and social impacts of the pandemic, are needed to counter the long-term detrimental effects of the pandemic on gender equality. Nevertheless, there may be a silver lining in this looming cloud of aggravated gender inequality.Since the pandemic has forced men to stay at home,ithas provided them with an opportunity to better understand the hardships faced by women, especially in the developing countries. Who knows, this experience may trigger a change in thebehaviour of men towards women and make them more empathetic and respectful towards them. Dr. Nuzhat Ahmad is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Urban Research and Policy at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi and CEO of Capstone Consulting International Pvt. Ltd.