Monday, September 20, 2021

Gender Equality Week

This week is Gender Equality Week in Canada. In June 2018, the Gender Equality Week Act received Royal Assent. It designates the 4th week in September as Gender Equality Week.
It is a time to celebrate advancements on gender equality, take stock of the work that still needs to be done, and recommit ourselves to fighting gender inequity and discrimination.
COVID-19 shone a light on inequality
The New Brunswick Union (NBU) has been one of many groups sounding the alarm on the gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the many ways that the pandemic has exposed inequities in our society and made them worse.
The gendered impacts include women's high rates of job loss and financial stress, the demands of informal and unpaid caregiving, the high exposure to COVID-19, as it is predominantly women workers on the front-lines of the pandemic, and the increased risk of gender-based violence, including domestic violence.
BIPOC women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. They are overrepresented in the most precarious, low-paid sectors on the frontlines, and they have disproportionately suffered job loss.
The need for a feminist recovery
For these reasons, the pandemic has also given way to growing demands for a she-covery, a term coined by economist Armine Yalnizyan. This refers to a pandemic recovery that deliberately addresses fundamental gender inequities and — finally — resolves them.
Experts and gender equality advocates are calling for an intersectional feminist approach to the recovery. And they've developed roadmaps and recommendations for achieving this.
The NBU has written here about some key aspects of the feminist recovery: valuing the care economy, including child care and long-term care, and addressing gender-based violence, including domestic violence.