The gendered dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic
On July 23rd, 2020, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation held its fifth webinar in the Emergence series. This episode featured prominent speakers who discussed the gendered dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosted by Robert Steiner (2019 Mentor), the discussion featured panelists Nathalie Des Rosiers (2020 Mentor), Vardit Ravitsky (2020 Mentor), Sophie Pierre (2017 Mentor), and Cecilia Benoit (2018 Fellow). Magaly Brodeur (2009 Scholar) and Daniel Del Gobbo (2017 Scholar) offered closing remarks.
The speakers shed light on how the pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the inequalities and stress that women face within society and offered possible measures to help rectify these inequalities.
Vardit Ravitsky spoke about how feelings of isolation have severely impacted pregnant women during the pandemic. She pointed out how COVID-19 has revealed the importance of liberating women’s voices and listening to their concerns throughout their pregnancies.
Cecilia Benoit explained how COVID-19 has exposed the inequality that sex workers experience as they lack access to resources and are faced with stigma and discriminatory laws.
Sophie Pierre underlined how the pandemic has led to an increase in child abuse, domestic violence and alcohol consumption within Indigenous communities. She stressed that women in positions of authority in both government and first nations communities should use their voices to draw attention to these issues.