The Hague, 13th of March 2020
Global Generosity & a Gender-inclusive Pandemic Response.
Amid the outbreak of the coronavirus, women as the main care-givers are being swept up in taking care of a community with what is available and with little thought to the individuals impacted. Simultaneously, while generosity on a global scale is being shown in large high-profile donations to World Health Organization and vaccine development funds, which are no-doubt necessary in the broader fight against the disease, community outreach programs are being placed on the sidelines, and small NGOs are slipping through the cracks.
The Director of Gender Concerns International, Ms. Sabra Bano, expresses her “deep concern for people and communities in under-privileged and economically deprived countries who may be left alone to deal with the severity of the evolving crisis”. In response, Ms. Bano – in coordination with her team – is pioneering an initiative to help women in need. The heart of the program is the collection and dissemination of critical information to those who can and those who need help.
The objective is to collect information from NGOs and people on the ground and connect the information to those with a means of sharing best practice, much needed resources, and up-to-date responses to the crisis to ensure these communities are included in the global response.
There have been concerns over the ability of the health industry to be able to appropriately handle the response. But very little to be said for the women risking their lives for their community. Gender-equality in the health industry and as caregivers has long been an issue, and coronavirus presents an opportunity to rectify that.
NGOs have a responsibility to all communities impacted by hardship and struggle. Small NGOs are uniquely located to provide support to struggling communities especially in a context where communities are being divided.
The World Economic Forum as already highlighted that women will be disproportionately impacted by the virus due to mass school closures, which particularly affect women because they still bear much of the responsibility for childcare. In addition Women already do three-times as much unpaid care work than men – and caring for relatives with the virus adds to the burden.
It is the responsibility of the international community to support those NGOs and to assist with the fight against gender-based inequality even in times of crisis. Both private and philanthropic organizations have pledged millions into vaccine research and crisis management. And the World Bank has pledged a $12 billion financial package. In this period of global generosity, Gender Concerns implores the international community to include the every-day people who are on the front line of fighting this crisis.
Gender Concerns International shares the growing concerns among the NGO sector and especially women organizations, our partner organizations, and activists in MENA region, Africa and Asia. Pledge your immediate support for NGOs and women in struggling communities.
For further information please contact:
Gender Equality Partnership Programme
Gender Concerns International
Benoordenhoutseweg 23, 2596 BA, The Hague, the Netherlands
Gender Concerns International is an international gender and development organization with its headquarters in The Hague and offices in several focus countries. It specializes working in the area of Women, Peace and Security, Climate Change and Election Observation from Gender Perspective.