The Facts: Women and Pandemics
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the world, and unprecedented impacts were felt both in Canada and globally. More than two years later, the impacts of the pandemic continue to unfold, in spite of widespread vaccination.
Soon after the pandemic began, it became clear that it would disproportionately impact women, girls, and gender-diverse people. “Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex,” said a United Nations policy brief. “With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the UN, “even the limited gains made in the past decades are at risk of being rolled back.”
The Canadian Human Rights Commission echoed this statement with its own, saying: “These disproportionate impacts could have long-term and far reaching consequences. If we are to restore momentum in our efforts to bring about gender equality in Canada, social and economic recovery efforts must take a feminist approach.”
The pandemic circumstances intensified inequalities related to gender, and other factors, such as economic status, race, culture, language, and other intersecting elements of our identities. It is important to understand the intersectional gendered implications of the pandemic, especially in the areas of gender-based violence, economic security, girls’ empowerment, and inclusive leadership.
Frequently asked questions about women and the COVID-19 pandemic
Last updated: October 2022