COVID-19 is not gender neutral – nor should Philanthropy be

Newsletter, 29 May 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones well and staying safe and strong.

In recent weeks there has been considerable media reporting on the gendered impacts of COVID-19, in both the global and Australian contexts. While the rates of infection are relatively even, it’s clear that more men are losing their lives to this disease, starkly highlighting the importance of examining sex and gender in medical research and intervention.

Equally clear is the evidence that the economic and social impacts of the pandemic are disproportionately affecting women. While this is likely to continue, and potentially be compounded in the difficult period ahead, it is also an opportunity to highlight the importance of gender analysis and of applying a gender lens to funding decisions supporting recovery. We know that disasters often amplify existing inequalities, further underlining the need for best practice in philanthropy’s analysis and response. Reconciliation Week is a reminder that women and girls in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have additional vulnerabilities in this pandemic and that their voices and agency are more critical than ever.

COVID-19 is proving to be a dramatic case study, highlighting the critical need to make visible the experience of women and girls, as the articles below highlight. We’ve been heartened by the many webinars and high level discussions acknowledging these gendered impacts. If you are a Philanthropy Australia member we encourage you to join next Wednesday’s webinar which will examine the lessons learned from previous large scale disasters, including the implications for women’s safety. See the details below.

In our ‘Read, Watch and Listen’ section you will also find the latest in the thought-provoking  ‘A Podcast of One’s Own’ series. Julia Gillard AC chats with the fabulous two time Academy Award-winning Cate Blanchett. I encourage you to read on, and to reach out if we can assist you in identifying the key issues for women and girls and connecting you to key projects and organisations empowering women in Australia and internationally.

Stay well, safe and strong!

Julie

Julie Reilly
CEO
Australian Women Donors Network

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