Workshop – The gendered impact of COVID-19 by Alexandra Timmer and Birte Böök
The first part of the workshop was based on an article written by the coordinating team of the EELN’s gender stream for the European Equality Law Review. First a mapping was provided of the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had and will continue to have on women in particular. It focused on three key areas in which the impact of the pandemic on gender equality in the EU is felt particularly strongly: the increase in gender-based violence, the difficulties women face in relation to work-life balance during the crisis, women’s participation and women in decision-making and leadership positions. The findings of this initial mapping gave an overview of national responses to the crisis so far, and discussed the legal obligations contained in the EU gender equality law acquis, as well as the aims embodied in the new EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.
Important potential strategies were elaborated for legal and policy action to counteract the negative impact of the crisis on gender equality in Europe in the three key areas mentioned above. Both the shorter (emergency) term and the longer term were addressed. A key question in the conclusions was what is needed for the promotion of gender-sensitive policy responses. The presentation gave three crucial elements for this: include women of all backgrounds in discussing crisis responses, adopt measures for enhanced participation and ensure effective implementation of the gender mainstreaming principle.
The second part of the workshop, also based on an article written for the European Equality Law Review, was dedicated to a presentation by David Oppenheimer on the situation in the United States relating to the problem of systemic racism intersecting with gender inequality, the impact of COVID-19 on older people, the healthcare system and the economic impact on vulnerable groups.