Women hold 70% of jobs in the health workforce, but when a health emergency strikes we hear the message: ‘Step aside, ladies, men coming through to fix this’.
The current COVID-19 crisis has been no different. Women are the experts who know the most about the health systems they keep functioning, day in and day out. But COVID-19 task forces and other decision-making groups are on average less than 20% female.
Decisions made by COVID-19 task forces that are not diverse or gender-equitable will be flawed decisions: bad for women, bad for health systems and bad for the whole of society. How can we end this pandemic if the leadership doesn't reflect the insights, know-how, and expertise on the ground?
There are also other important questions about the implications of approaches that are not gender-responsive:
How can we understand and prevent the increase gender-based violence seen as stay at home orders are enacted?
What policies can help home-based work be fairly balanced with unpaid care such as housework and childcare?
How can we best protect mostly female frontline healthcare workers who are working with personal protective equipment designed for men?
How can we ensure mostly-female community health ‘volunteers’ are appropriately supported and compensated for the increased risk they face during a pandemic?
WGH Action Labs will be interactive panel discussions that will drive local advocacy. We will facilitate participants to engage, enable and ignite a gender-transformative agenda in health by releasing advocacy tools at the end of each session, linked to our #COVID5050 Five Asks for Gender-Responsive Health Security.
Action labs are curated in partnership with the Johnson and Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation
We ask that YOU to join us, add your voice and
Engage! Enable! And Ignite Action!
The global health security system isn’t broken, it was built unequally from the beginning. Let's change that. Gender Equality can’t wait till the next pandemic.