COVID-19: An opportunity to advance gender equality?

About the event

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing all of our lives. While the limitations on freedoms, the degree of our social and economic security, as well as the outlook after the crisis differ significantly, it has become apparent that women everywhere tend to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic. After a short introduction by Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, we will discuss the topic with many powerful women from across East and South East Asia, including Philippine vice-president Leni Robredo.

The Atlantic titled the virus a disaster for feminism. Women – already taking over a heavier burden in household work – are now often juggling schooling and caring for their children while working fulltime from home. We have further learned in previous epidemics such as Ebola, that it takes much longer for women’s income to return to the amount they made pre-outbreak compared to men’s, and that girls are less likely to return to school. In addition to this, domestic abuse and violence are rising during the lockdown while available health services for women are declining. The coronavirus has exacerbated inequalities, and increased risks to women’s rights.

But these vulnerabilities being exposed is also an opportunity to take stock, and determine what can be done to improve women’s conditions. It is a chance to raise awareness on women’s roles that are undermined by the existing political, economic, social systems, and to prompt action towards more female representation in planning and decision-making processes. In the end, we will survive COVID-19 as healthier societies with stronger women.

Foto: iStock / Getty Images Plus

COVID-19: An opportunity to advance gender equality?

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our lives. But while the limitations on freedoms differ significantly, women tend to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

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