The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities both from a class, race and gendered perspective. A webinar co-hosted with the Alternative Information and Development Centre seeks to bring together speakers who will provide an evidence based and feminist analysis on the pandemic that will enable the audience to reflect on the numerous ways it interacts with gender.

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Gender and vulnerability to disease have historically always been interconnected. Moreover, response measures to outbreaks are not only gendered but they also have long-term gendered effects. South Africa’s ongoing battle with HIV/AIDS for example, has illustrated that during a health crisis, women are often more vulnerable to infection and face numerous challenges to access health care due to their positionality as women.

Globally, researchers have identified that as a result of COVID-19 and the hard lockdowns around the world, there has been dire consequences on the lives of women such as, but not limited to, increased domestic abuse and intimate partner violence and long-term negative consequences to women’s livelihoods. This means that the pandemic has had a myriad of consequences that has also deepened economic inequalities between men and women due to job losses that have significantly affected women and the widening of unpaid care work. This is an effect of neoliberal globalisation wherein capitalism thrives on underpaid or unpaid work, most of which is gendered.

The intended outcome of this webinar is to firstly illustrate that equity is a central issue in public health and that there is an inescapable link between poverty, the feminization of poverty and access to health care, particularly in the South African context. This webinar furthermore seeks to build systems of solidarity among affected marginalised groups as a result of the pandemic.


31st August 2021, 14h00

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14:00-14:20: Sikho Luthango, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Programme Manager, Labour and Economy: Introduction of the event and speakers.
Panel facilitated by Ntebaleng Morake, Senior Fellow at Atlantic for Health Equity
14:20-14:35: Tshegofatso Putu, Development Economist and current Kader Asmal Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland: Understanding the feminist political economy.
14:35-14:50: Dr Lauren Paremoer, University of Cape Town: COVID-19 and the social determinants of health.
14:50-15:20: Question and Answer Session
15:20-15:35: Masana Ndinga-Kanga, Programme Director, Sonke Gender Justice: Effective gender policy making to address gendered systems of oppression, particularly in times of crisis (i.e. the pandemic).
15:35-15:50: Dr Cyan Brown, Senior Fellow at Atlantic Fellowship for Health Equity: Building understanding on intersectional feminist approaches to healthcare and health access.
15:50-16:20: Question and Answer Session
16:20-16:30: Kea Sepato, Alternative Information and Development Centre: Closing Remarks