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How COVID 19 proved we need more women in power in times of crisis

Brief description: this event is part of a series of digital townhalls to discuss with experts, politicians, citizens, activists and everyone interested key aspects of global trends. The first event will be on "How COVID 19 proved we need more women in power in times of crisis". Join our online digital town hall on Wednesday, April 8th at 6 pm CET to discuss the importance of women in crisis management and how to prevent such disasters in the future. 

Participants: Colombe Cahen-Salvador (NOW!'s co-founder and co-Executive Director) will be asking all your questions to:

  • Yasmine Ouirhane, the Young European of the Year 2019, a strong gender equality advocate and a fellow at Women Deliver, and
  • Daouii Abouchere, a geopolitics expert, a senior advisor to the International Economic Forum, who among other things has been recognized as one of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers and is a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts.

Format: 60 minutes on zoom and broadcasted on social media: 1) 30 minutes of questions and discussions between moderator and panellists, then 2) 30 minutes of questions from the audience pre-selected. You will receive the link to participate as soon as you confirm your attendance by filling the form!


Detailed description: Coronavirus has affected almost one million people. As a considerable part of the world is on lockdown, we are forced to consider once more the unpreparedness of most countries in assisting those most affected: social distancing is a luxury that not all can afford, basic goods and services become scarce and those in precarious situations are hit the hardest. This is also, if not especially, the case for women: coronavirus is expected to bring back women’s rights by decades. From healthcare resources being diverted, the economic repercussions on single households and jobs to an increase in domestic violence, world leaders often disregard the role that gender plays in confronting crises such as the current pandemic.

The previous case examples of Ebola or Zika have shown us those patterns, that are repeating themselves over and over again. Just think about it: globally, women make up 70 per cent of workers in the health and social sector, and they do three times as much unpaid care work at home as men. Yet, they are systematically excluded from the decision-making bodies that initiate life-saving emergency protocols in health-care settings. Additionally, a large number of women works in the informal economy without adequate access to health insurance nor secure income. “Because they are not well-targeted for bail outs they are financially on their own. This is not simply a health issue for many women; it goes to the heart of gender equality,” said UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

During crises, resources are diverted away from services that women need, such as access to pre- and post-natal health care, contraceptives, and the specific needs of women health workers. During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, maternal mortality in the region increased by 75%, and the number of women giving birth in hospitals and health clinics dropped by 30%.

Furthermore, when strategies for self-isolation and quarantine are employed, the risk of intimate partner violence tends to increase. Within the space of a week, domestic violence in France increased by 36% in Paris, and 32% in the rest of the country.

It’s time to end this vicious circle. There is a clear need to ensure the specific gender impact of large crises is taken into account in the response strategies at all levels. And who better to do so than women and girls themselves? We need more women in power to ensure better decision-making and a better outcome for all in times of crisis, like in times of prosperity. 

Sign our petition and join our online digital town hall on Wednesday, April 8th at 6 pm CET to discuss the importance of women in crisis management and how to prevent such disasters in the future. 

WHEN
April 08, 2020 at 6pm - 7pm
WHERE
Online
Avenue Louise 54
Brussels 1050
Belgium
Google map and directions
CONTACT
NOW! ·

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