On behalf of the W20, an international body parallel to the G20 dedicated to women’s issues, the Chair of the organization, Saudi Dr. Thoraya Obaid, publicly called on G20 health chiefs to not only recognize women’s roles in the current battle of the pandemic but to consider appointing them into their coordination efforts for a new task force. Furthermore, Obaid asks G20 leaders to take concrete measures to properly address women’s specific healthcare needs.
The W20 is an international organization composed of delegates representing non governmental women’s organizations, civil society, female entrepreneurs, businesses, and research institutes within the G20 member states. Its primary objective is to vehicle the gender considerations into the broader G20 discussions, to champion gender equality and heighten women’s economic empowerment.
Greater care calls for greater protection
“Women are a vital part of the health care infrastructure that is battling the pandemic head-on — both directly, as women comprise almost 7 out of 10 health and social care workers, and indirectly as unpaid caregivers, contributing $1.5 trillion to the global health economy even before these extraordinary times. Their needs merit dedicated attention as workers and as receivers of care themselves,” Dr. Obaid specified in her official virtual request.
In this announcement the W20 collectively argues for greater protection for women working in the healthcare field and those receiving the care as patients. Diving deeper into the logistics, they urge member states to introduce incentives for their employers to implement measures recognizing the role of women as caregivers for children, the disabled, the sick and elderly family members in and out of the home.
Hotlines and monitoring systems
W20 also stressed the need to accelerate measures to include women’s issues into COVID-19 policies, with an increase of resources to fight gender-based violence that has spiked during lockdown all over the world, proposing the introduction of hotlines and monitoring systems to flatten that curve, too.