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International Women's Day 2021: Women and the Fight Against Covid-19

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Kristin Davis

Happy International Women’s Day (IWD)! Today was created in the name of celebrating women’s achievements and advocating for gender equality around the world. It is especially a good day to share women’s stories, successes, adversities as well as help fundraise and donate to female-focused charities which we will have linked in the resources section below!

This year the theme for International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge, with the intention being to challenge the world to become more aware of the matters that affect women and further the mission for gender-equality. This year we’re accepting that challenge and using our platform to discuss and applaud women’s role in the fight against COVID-19, especially within our very own field of healthcare.

In Healthcare

It is no secret that currently the healthcare industry is being pushed to its limits and has been throughout the past year. Not only have healthcare workers put their lives at risk almost daily ever since Covid first hit, but they are also facing dramatically elevated levels of stress, anxiety, exhaustion and burnout during this pandemic. Coupling this reality with that of home-life responsibilities only increases those negative mental and physical health effects.

Amazingly enough, 70% of worldwide healthcare workers are women. Meaning that the majority of healthcare workers facing these challenges and risking their lives are women, yet, despite that fact, only 30% of leadership roles in healthcare are actually held by women. This is concerning especially when common knowledge shows how beneficial gender equality and diversity in leadership improve function and decision making in a workplace. 

In Leadership

Where women have led in business, politics and healthcare, we have seen tremendous strides in their persistent yet successful fight against Covid. Although just 21 countries worldwide are led by women as heads of state in the government, their leadership has been praised for its exceptional response-time in tackling the current health crisis. Women-led countries such as Denmark, Finland, Ethiopia, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand and Slovakia are being recognized for setting an example to the world with their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically, for the rapidity and effectiveness of their emergency policies.

However, despite the obvious success of women-led decision making, they still only hold 25% of the world’s parliamentary seats. This is why it is so important to continue the effort to highlight these female victories and continue the push to close global gender gaps in leadership. 

We offer the sincerest thanks and support to the women who fought and continue to fight against COVID-19. However, it is also important to address the significant ways women and many others have been affected outside of work due to lockdowns and the ensuing economic crisis.

Issues such as layoffs/unemployment, domestic violence and lack of resources (i.e. childcare) have disproportionately impacted women. It is important to highlight these adversities so that we can understand why they occur in order to not not only better provide support to those affected, but eventually to minimize and potentially eliminate them from ever occurring in the first place. Be sure to check out the list of links below to help share more information as well as provide critical resources for those in need. Wishing you all a happy and uplifting International Women's Day - feel free to share more resources and let us know how you're celebrating in the comments below!


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