Women’s and community organisations unite on COVID-19 and gender

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On 2 April 2020, over 60 organisations – including Women’s Health in the South East – came together to support a statement on Gender, Equality and COVID-19.

The statement recognises the huge impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the exceptionally difficult circumstances that the community find themselves in.

The statement highlights that the impact of the pandemic on women is largely unrecognised from a planning response and recovery perspective and puts forward 10 areas for action that government can do now to address the impact of COVID-19 on women, girls and gender diverse people.

Key action areas are:

  1. Fund Gender & Disaster Workers 
  2. Protect obstetric, gynaecological, sexual and reproductive health services from COVID-19
  3. Boost family violence prevention and responses activities to cope with an increased demand for support in the community
  4. Ensure all COVID-19 updates, communications and data gathering applies a gender lens.
  5. Provide a wage subsidy to all workers in hard hit industries, including casual women workers.
  6. Provide recognition and support to carers and educators at home.
  7. Provide essential service workers with urgent Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and recognition of the risky work they are performing.
  8. All essential workers should also have childcare funded by the Commonwealth for the duration of the pandemic.
  9. Commence gender-based planning for post-pandemic reboot of the Victorian economy. Create a Pandemic Stand Down Taskforce to prioritise investment in services and infrastructure required to ensure Victoria gets back on its feet swiftly. Ensure decision making is gender equal.
  10. Get gender equality investment Back on Track. Ensure that all rebuild efforts and investment apply a gender lens so that women and men benefit equally from the long journey towards recovery. 

WHISE is proud to support these calls to action, and work with our partners to continue advocacy and deliver services that ensure that all women in our region are safe, healthy and thriving.
The full statement can be read via the Gender Equality Victoria Website.