Gender equality starts with you: Nine ways you can keep up your activism from your couch
Originally published on Medium.com/@UN_Women
The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health issue. It’s a profound shock to our societies and economies. It has drastically altered everyday life as we know. And while we are all in it together, as it happens in any crisis or pandemic, women are being impacted by COVID-19 in different and less visible ways.
As everyone does their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and isolation, we’re sharing some of the best ways we know to support gender equality in your homes and in the world, without leaving the safety of your own home, or your couch.
1. Share the care at home
From cooking and cleaning, to fetching water and firewood, or taking care of children and the elderly, women carry out three times more unpaid household and care work than men. While more and more people and families are isolated in their homes to stop the spread of COVID-19, care responsibilities are at an all-time high. Whether it is supporting kids through distance-learning or supporting elderly and vulnerable relatives, cooking, cleaning and running our households — it’s on all of us to share the care.
Make sure everyone in your home is doing their part to share the added burden of unpaid domestic and care work every day.
2. Know the COVID-19 facts
While we all adjust to the new norms and process the anxiety and concern we’re feeling, it’s so important to know all the facts, and stop the spread of misinformation.
Get your facts from trusted sources and medical experts.
You can learn more about why gender matters in COVID-19 response, and get up to date information and analysis from UN Women from our In Focus: Gender equality matters in COVID-19 response.
And learn more from the United Nations here: https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus
3. Read, watch, listen and share women’s stories
Keep yourself safe, busy and feminist while you stay home. Read a feminist book that reflects how diverse women’s experiences around the world truly are. Here are our recommendations to get you started. Find shows, podcasts, social media accounts and movies led, written or produced by women. Check out our “Because She Watched” collection on Netflix that celebrates the stories that have inspired the women who inspire us.
If you’re looking for more info on the history of women’s rights, check out our interactive timeline!
4. Talk about gender equality with your family
Social distancing means home becomes a school for many families around the world. Add feminism to the curriculum. Have conversations about gender equality with your friends and family — especially kids, boys and girls.
By talking to your kids about equality between all genders and what still needs to be done for us to reach an equal world, you’re setting them up to lead the way for a better future for all.
5. Continue your activism online
Around the world, women are being disproportionately affected by the social and economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, which exacerbates existing gender inequalities. Continue to speak up for women’s rights and gender equality by joining UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign and voicing your commitment to an equal future on social media, using #GenerationEquality. You can download cool GIFs, slogans and more in our social media package.
You can also find informative data cards, visuals and videos about the #coronavirus and messages of solidarity in UN Women’s #COVID19 social media package.
6. Give to the cause
Women have been hit hard by COVID-19 as they constitute 70 percent of the workers in the health and social sector globally and are on the frontlines of the response.
More women work in the informal economy and lower-paying jobs, and they have less means to adjust to the disruptions in their livelihoods. When households are placed under strain, domestic violence usually goes up, as does sexual exploitation. COVID-19 is likely driving similar trends right now.
UN Women is working to provide support to all women on the frontlines of the fight against this pandemic; promoting flexible working arrangements for women with a burden of care; and prioritizing services to prevent gender-based domestic violence. Now you, too, can help them.
Please give today at donate.unwomen.org
7. Educate yourself
Social distancing and self-quarantine mean more time for learning. From gender equality in emergencies to infrastructure, take one of UN Women’s free and self-paced online courses.
You can also take virtual tours and see online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, and many more. While you’re at it, take the opportunity to learn about women artists who have been overlooked throughout history and continue to be undervalued.
You can even learn about key milestones in the women’s rights movement, the progress and pushback, and voices and aspirations of women leaders from every corner of the world in our online exhibit “Generation Equality: The time is now!”
You might find some inspiration for creative ways to spend your time at home through art!
8. Do your part, save lives
There are many ways you can stay connected with your community while you stay physically apart. Practice social solidarity, with physical distance! Whatever you’re going through right now, know that there is somebody else going through similar experiences, trying to adjust to this new normal. Supporting those around you and staying close to your community can help you stay strong while helping others. Here are just five ways you can do your part:
9. Take care of your mental health
Prioritizing mental health is important during times of high stress. Set yourself a reminder to take a break from the news. Find moments of happiness by connecting with friends and family, relaxing and practicing mindfulness.
As the COVID19 pandemic is keeping most of us away from our loved ones, it’s completely normal to feel anxious, isolated or overwhelmed with work or family responsibilities.
Remember, you’re not alone. We are in this together. We will get through this together.
For more information on how gender equality matters in COVID-19 response, visit UN Women’s website and sign up for our newsletter.
UN Women is calling on governments and decision makers to incorporate a gendered perspective in their responses by recognizing how women are being impacted, and answering key questions about how their responses and policies will impact women and girls.