Produced by the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, the latest edition of Essays on Equality explores the gendered impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on a global scale.
The essays take an intersectional approach, examining the pandemic experiences of different groups of women – including single mothers, pregnant women, migrant women, and indigenous women – and the adequacy (or inadequacy) of national and international policy responses to address them.
The Covid-19 pandemic, policy responses, and resultant economic crisis are having disproportionate impacts on women, threatening to reverse decades of progress on gender equality. Going forward, public policy has the power to either make these impacts worse or mitigate them by developing gender-sensitive solutions.
In 2020, the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership launched a research project, Gendering the UK’s social policy response to the Covid-19 crisis, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council,1 to explore the extent to which the policy response to Covid addressed its many gendered impacts and inform the development of feminist social policy approaches in the Covid-19 era. This special edition of Essays on Equality was borne out of this research and focuses on global and intersectional responses to the pandemic.
The gendered impacts of the pandemic have been felt around the globe, but the specific contours of these impacts vary substantially across countries and there has been a similarly diverse international policy response. Through our research, we brought together a global network of researchers, activists and policymakers, who were dedicated to documenting these impacts and scrutinising their countries’ Covid policy responses. The essays in this collection draw on this detailed country expertise to offer invaluable insight into how women in different societies were affected. The essays take an intersectional approach, broadening an often simplistic focus on women as a homogenous group by examining the pandemic experiences of specific groups of women – including single mothers, pregnant women, migrant women, and indigenous women – and the adequacy (or inadequacy) of policy responses in addressing these.