On 7 and 8 February 2022, the Gender and COVID-19 Working Group convened a conference titled ‘Gender and intersectional vulnerabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic’ to address the specific gendered effects of the current pandemic, steps that should be prioritized for future crises, and a long term gender-just recovery.
Over the two days, around 100 attendees spanning 31 countries and a wide-range of thematic expertise discussed the pandemic via three tracks: governance and policy, health and health systems, and livelihoods and the care economy. Each track featured rapid talks and group discussions from participants across the globe, including researchers, policymakers, and activists. The points raised have informed this call to action and they represent syntheses of the important recommendations made during the conference.
This call to Action is informed by two central findings:
1. Whether participants were talking about health and health systems, livelihoods and the care economy, or government and policy, the recommendations and strategies were similar. All tracks emphasized the importance of disaggregated data, investing in care infrastructure, support for policy and advocacy work led by women or marginalized groups and their organizations, and true gender transformative leadership.
2. None of our strategies and recommendations are new. This Call to Action rearticulates and reemphasizes demands made long before and throughout this pandemic. There are already structures in place that could realize them. Countless governmental and non-governmental organizations have issued gender-responsive COVID-19 blueprints, toolkits, and recommendations. We do not need more plans, what we need is action.
The authors of the Call to Action are Sarah Barnes, Amrita Gupta, Kate Hawkins, Jennifer Piscopo and Lila Sax dos Santos Gomes.
The organizers of conference are Rosemary Morgan, Lila Sax dos Santos Gomes, Amrita Gupta, Sarah Barnes, Jennifer Piscopo, Keerty Nakray, Ann Keeling, Elena Marbán, Namratha Rao, Kate Hawkins and Hayley Stewart.
The notetakers were Heang Lee Tan, Sarah Sax, Lynda Keeru, Becca Reisdorf, Deekshita Ramanarayanan, Kate Hawkins, Sylvia Sax, Zoe Duckworth and Hayley Stewart.
The conversation starters were Anita Raj, Margaret Walton Roberts, Tina Johnson, Shelby Bourgault, Prem Adheesh Lekhi, Sathya Sai and Sharmishtha Nanda.
The rapid speakers were Shubha Nagesh, Women in Global Health; Kristine Yakhama, MNCH Alliance; Dr Lokpriy Shrma University of Saskatchewan; Dr Marcia Mutambara, Health Economics HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD); Prof Merike Blofield, the GIGA Institute of Latin America; Prof Nancy Madera, Universidad Nacional de San Martin; Clare Hollowell, International Planned Parenthood Federation; Farah Shroff, Harvard University; Chryspin Afifu Onkoba, ICRW Africa; Betty Abade-Okero, CSO Network; Peter Baker, Global Action on Men’s Health; Jennifer Piscopo, the Center for Research and Scholarship.
Our official launch event will take place on the 2 May 2022, 15.00-16.00 CET time. We have chosen this date to honour May Day and the contributions of workers across the world to the COVID-19 response.