The Lancet Commission on Gender and Global Health in partnership with the UNU Gender and Health Hub co-present Gender activism, politics, and intersectionality, in the era of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has highlighted and worsened many inequities that existed before the pandemic. These inequities include those of gender, class, race, caste, disability and sexuality. Examination of these inequities demonstrates the intersectionality between them and that effective policy responses need to be sensitive to this. Without an intersectional approach people will fall through the cracks. The gendered and race nature of the care economy has become apparent as has the low status and pay workers in this economy experience.
Care for people with disability in particular has been put under significant stress during the pandemic. While many people with a disability have been at higher risk of infection and death during the pandemic, their access to health and care services has not been prioritised, and disability advocates have highlighted the ongoing marginalisation of their voices. In addition, the majority of the social care workforce are women, employed on contracts without access to paid leave and with low wages. Despite being essential workers they often experienced financial hardship and were exposed to occupational risks from COVID-19.
Gender activists in many countries around the world have responded to COVID-19 and demanded better responses from governments. These demands have been made along with demands for action on the climate and ecological crisis.
This session will examine how gender activists responded to the pressure of COVID-19 and government interventions, against a backdrop of the politicisation of gender-related issues and increasing recognition of the importance of intersectionalities.