Speaker Series #18 – Gender Inclusive Cities

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Cities on the Frontline #18 – July 9, 2020

Over the past months, the Covid-19 pandemic has further exposed and aggravated pre-existing social disparities and divisions in cities. The current crisis has highlighted some of the struggles that urban minorities face, particularly women. School disruptions have led to more demand care responsibilities for women than men.

Evidence from the US and Western European countries suggests that while women face lower risks of death from Covid-19 than men, they are disproportionately impacted by economic impacts of the pandemic. Globally, the UN estimates that 60 percent of women are engaged in informal and lower paid jobs, which limits their ability to save for contingencies and puts them at a higher risk of falling into poverty. They are also overrepresented in industries, such as retail and hospitality, that have been hit the hardest by lockdown measures, resulting in higher unemployment rates among women.

Salvador: How to Decrease Gender Inequality in the Context of Covid-19

Out of all households in Salvador, 30 percent are run by single mothers who are solely responsible for their family’s income. Daniela Guarieiro, the Deputy Chief Resilience Officer of the city of Salvador, explained how COVID-19 related restrictions articulately affected women. She explained how the city has been expanding online services to compensate part of the shortfall in public assistance resulting from social distancing measures.

Centering Gender for Hawaii’s Resilient Recovery

Dr. Kealoha Fox from Aloha Care, a local non-profit health plan provider in Hawaii, and Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, the Vice-Chair of Maui County Council presented how COVID-19 has deepened gender inequality at multiple levels in Hawaii. They also pointed to opportunity for positive change and elaborated on Maui’s gender inclusive recovery plan.

Watch full session here:

Speaker Series #18 – Gender Inclusive Cities