NGO CSW 65 Virtual Forum: Voices from the Grassroots: COVID-19 and Women from the Global South

Event Details

Women around the world combat COVID-19 at the grassroots

Join the Ontario Council for International Cooperation’s Gender Equality Hub on Friday, March 19th for their NGO Commission on the Status of Women Parallel event, Voices from the Grassroots, to learn about inspirational initiatives led by women around the world in the face of COVID-19.
The Ontario Council for International Cooperation (OCIC)’s Gender Equality Hub is pleased to invite you to Voices from the Grassroots: COVID-19 and Women from the Global South on Friday, 19 March 2021 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm Eastern Time. This virtual event is part of the NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum that will run in parallel to the official session of the 65th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) from March 15 – 26, 2021.

This event builds on the Voices from the Grassroots flipbook, an initiative of the Gender Equality Hub compiling firsthand accounts from Afghanistan, Guatemala, Kenya, Mali, Philippines, Uganda, and South Sudan to highlight the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on women and girls. The initiative also showcases the resilience of these women and girls in the midst of the pandemic, and calls for more gender-responsive approaches as we build back better from the COVID-19 crisis.

Hear directly and learn from outstanding speakers and community leaders:
• Zakia Saddat, a frontline health worker at Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Hospital (Afghanistan)
• Marie Haruona, Program & Capacity-Building Manager with World Renew (Mali)
• Barbara Kayanja, Regional Director for East Africa with World Renew (Uganda & South Sudan)
• Nuvia Roseny Ortega Burgos, Coordinator for the Future Security in the Face of COVID-19 project in partnership with World Accord and Seeds of Change (Honduras)

To attend, register as an Advocate and add the ‘Voices from the Grassroots’ event to your schedule.

Highlighting the Impact of COVID-19 on Women and Girls

Since the beginning of the pandemic, individual members of OCIC’s Gender Equality Hub and those representing Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO-SACO), World Accord, Global Women’s Network and World Renew worked together to document the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable women and girls from seven countries.

The women and girls have spoken of impacts such as increased debt loads, job and income loss, heightened levels of gender violence and assault, especially amongst young girls, increased crime amongst youth boys, food insecurity and hunger, transportation challenges, civil unrest, unresponsive and inconsistent governments, exacerbation of inequality and discrimination, especially for persons with disabilities, as well as increased mental stress. Their experiences echo those of women, girls and other vulnerable and marginalised groups across the world.

Providing a platform where these voices from the grassroots can be heard is a means to empower these women and girls to enable them to more actively participate in decision-making and in finding solutions for the issues they are facing. Their testimonials call upon us to increase our advocacy efforts for increased gender-responsive approaches by all sectors in rebuilding societies after the pandemic. They further call upon us to strengthen our approaches to more deliberately include diverse and multiple stakeholders and at all levels, including amongst civil society, religious groups, the private sector, community-based organizations at the grassroots with diaspora communities and more.

About OCIC’s Gender Equality Hub

OCIC’s Gender Equality Hub is a Community of Practice that seeks to actively examine how a gender transformative and intersectional approach to development can shape our work towards universal sustainable development, and how we can work together to identify gaps and challenges and mobilize around current opportunities. The Hub was formed to be an influential and inspiring community of learning and practice across Ontario that will enable multi-sectoral dialogue and knowledge exchange to advance inclusion and gender equality for all.

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