INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE ON HOW THE CRISIS IS AFFECTING WOMEN AND GIRLS WORLDWIDE
On Wednesday 6 May Progressive Alliance and PES Women organised in cooperation with SocDem Asia a first webinar on the particular situation of women and girls affected by the Corona-crisis.
For the first time a global gender perspective was introduced in the networks of Progressive Parties uniting participants from Latina America, Africa, Europe and Asia.
The seminar was opened by Conny Reuter, Coordinator Progressive Alliance and Zita Gurmai, President PES Women who both underlined the necessity of considering particularly the gender perspective under a global approach.
Marja Bijl, Vice-President PES Women, Gender working group Progressive Alliance, moderated the webinar for which 100 participants from all continents had registered.
The organisers had invited as panelists:
Evelyn Regner, Social Democratic Party Austria, Chair of Women Committee European Parliament
Nie Ching Teo, Democratic Action Party Malaysia, SocDem Asia
Margarita Bolaños Arquín, Costa Rica, Progressive Alliance de las Americas
Elke Ferner, SPD Germany, Executive Member PES Women
Caryn Dasah, Community activist & peer educator, Founder of Hope Advocates Africa, Cameroon
Bahia Amra, Palestinian National Initiative, Gender working group Progressive Alliance
The presentations and panel debate put evidence on the similarities of the particular burden on women and girls in times of pandemic. Because a lot of women work in the informal sector, or have precarious jobs, they face professional uncertainty or have already lost their jobs. The risk of poverty is increasing. The risk of poverty is extremely increasing and women are particularly exposed.
In addition, they are exposed to a double, sometimes even triple burden as they are often responsible for the education of the children and provide for the family as a whole. As day care is hardly available during the crisis, women are being driven back into the house. Recent experiences have given evidence that teleworking from home, for those who have this opportunity, is not automatically nor easily facilitating reconciliation of professional and private life.
Furthermore, statistics in nearly all countries show an unacceptable raise of violence against women (and children) in times of confinements and lock downs. Restricted and poor livelihood do not allow physical distancing and increase psychological stress and simply contamination.
Awareness raising and empowerment of women continue to be indispensable. Strategies need to be developed on national level, through regional as well as a global platforms like the Progressive Alliance which shall further develop their agenda. This is the momentum to reshape progressive policies
As a next step the first webinar will be completed by regional seminars on the different continents followed by a convergence process leading to political recommendations and a common agenda.
Such progressive agenda shall be based on the call for:
– Decent working and living conditions
– Access to quality health and care services
– Social Protection schemes
– Ensuring gender parity at all levels of governance
– Gender budgeting in financial schemes and programmes
– Support to NGOs providing help and assistance for women particularly exposed to consequences of C-19 crisis
PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE, PES Women and SocDem Asia will coordinate the follow-up and develop further communication channels on the issue.