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Video Series: Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Worse for Women?

Dr Agomoni Ganguli Mitra talks about how pandemics increase existing inequalities in societies, and how this may result in even more victims than those from the disease itself. She urges governments and others to take social justice considerations much more into account when preparing for, and tackling, pandemics. This is an interview with Katrien Devolder as part of the Thinking Out Loud video series.
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2 Comment on this post

  1. There seem to also be factors in the current crisis that go against this narrative but are not mentioned. For example, there seems to now be a consensus that it is killing men at a far greater rate (perhaps this is just a feature of the virus, but perhaps it is because of ongoing lower health in men which has been inadequately addressed), and secondly that there has been a large drop in sexual violence reports during the pandemic. It also ignores measures such as in the UK making provision for home abortions, despite access to abortions being mentioned as an issue in other pandemics.

    I do not have the expertise or data to say that this narrative is overall wrong and no doubt there are major issues such as domestic violence that are being exacerbated by the current pandemic, but I do wonder if these factors had happened to fit the narrative if they would have been included.

  2. Indeed, the virus does seem to be affecting men with more severity. However, if you look at gender and the effects of the pandemic overall, there are consistent patterns that reflect existing social and gender inequalities. Similarly the UK did eventually make provisions for home abortions. However the policy around abortion changed quite a bit early on. The point was not to ignore the positive changes that have come about, but that such things (e.g. access to abortion in a lockdown) have not arisen suddenly. The effects of lockdowns are well known to those who work in this area, and if such experts are consulted systematically and early on, considerations around e.g. domestic violence, family planning or gendered economic precariousness can be accounted for better in our pandemic planning.

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