The Covid-19 pandemic has put a burden on people the world over affecting a range of areas from health, emotional energy, and relationships, to finances and education, and the list continues. It has been such a strain for all, in all walks of life, and this month we pay homage to women in particular, in honour of women’s month, and explore how the pandemic has been disproportionately harsh on them.
An interesting statistic is that 70% of jobs in the health and social sector are held by women. Even more reason to love, appreciate, and cherish all the caring women out there unfalteringly putting themselves on the line for the greater good, and particularly now when it feels like the world is hanging on by a thread.
Some of the issues that have been shown and highlighted over the last year and a half and have drastically affected particularly women are job cuts, lack of access to education, and carrying the burden in terms of the bulk of the childcare and domestic work falling on their shoulders. This inequal state of equilibrium in terms of work, home, and society, and any gains made here (and in terms of GBV too) have been eroded thanks to the pandemic.
What has been so heartwarming to see is the response of brands around the world striving to highlight and amplify the plight of women and the diverse women heroines in past and recent history. Issues faced by women have been highlighted in various campaigns in honour of International Women’s Day this August month. The theme this year is “Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”. The concept of Generation Equality is a global campaign and links South Africa to global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030.
Just a few inspiring examples of the amazing campaigns being run by brands in response to women and the pandemic:
Unilever – they have started the “unmute” campaign to allow a platform for women to speak out where they’ve previously been silenced and thereby challenge the stigma of domestic abuse which has risen by 20% during this pandemic.
Google – they have announced the “Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls” and a fund dedicated to advancing the economic prosperity of women and girls around the world, and “First of many” celebrating women pioneers in History.
Netflix- they have pledged an investment of five million dollars to the next generation of female storytellers. They will be launching mentorship and training programmes as part of this too.
Interflora – they have used various configurations of red and white rose buds in their bouquets of flowers to highlight stats of the inequality of women in leadership positions in the workplace.
This Women’s month, let us all #ChoosetoChallenge:
- Seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.
- Increase visibility of women – art, writing, opinion.
- Call out gender bias and inequality.
“A woman is like a tea bag, you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt.