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We’re the peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women

101 organisations call for a gendered response to COVID19 in Victoria

101 organisations across Victoria and Australia are calling for a gender equal recovery to COVID19.

Since the release of a joint statement in April, calling for State and Federal Governments to recognise the gendered impacts of COVID 19, Victorian and Federal Governments are still to show a commitment to a gender equal recovery.

“Today we have seen free childcare come to an end. This will have significant impacts on essential service workers who are in high demand in Victoria with current outbreaks of COVID19 who are being penalised with additional childcare costs for keeping the rest of the Victoria going,” said Tanja Kovac, CEO of Gender Equity Victoria.

“We have 101 organisations asking for government to recognise and respond to women’s equality, health and safety during the pandemic. We have made numerous attempts to engage with government on this issue. We want a response.”

On a national scale, before the pandemic, Australia was already going backwards on the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index, moving down to 44th in the world from a high of 15th twenty years ago..

“We could see Australia drop further in the Global Gender Gap Index if there isn’t more attention paid to the gendered impacts of COVID19,” said Kovac.

We already know that during the pandemic:

  • women are at greater risk of exposure to the illness while in lower paid jobs;
  • family violence increases during and in the aftermath of all disasters;
  • more women are unemployed as a consequence of COVID-19;
  • women are shouldering a bigger burden of unpaid labour in the home;
  • specialist women’s health services are adversely affected by pandemic; and
  • disaster impacts different women in complex and diverse ways.

As we move back to stage three restrictions in Victoria, these burdens will continue to worsen.

For more information on COVID19 as a gendered problem, see infographics below or visit www.genvic.org.au to view a series of factsheets on COVID19 and gender.