Listening to women could save lives, sociologist says

A factory worker in Accra, Ghana, in April (CNS/Francis Kokoroko, Reuters)

Women in Ghana and other West African nations have suffered disproportionately during the COVID-19 pandemic largely because they have been excluded from positions of power, a Catholic sociologist said. Source: CNS.

Sociologist and gender specialist Miriam Rahinatu Iddrisu says women’s input could have helped alleviate a range of problems from increased cases of domestic abuse – especially during the lockdown – to increased food insecurity.

“Countries with more women in leadership – in governments, cabinets, legislatures – have delivered COVID-19 responses that consider the effects of the crisis on women and girls,” Ms Iddrisu said.

With women being the primary caretakers in most households, government authorities in Ghana and throughout the region need to set up COVID-19 information sessions to provide quality and reliable information about the virus, she said.

And, to reduce the economic impact of the pandemic on women, she advocated for the provision of emergency and recovery funds for women’s cooperatives and for women working in the informal sector, which particularly involves women who sell vegetables and other products in marketplaces and along roads.

But even more, she said, “mainstreaming gender equality is an intrinsic part of the road to recovery from COVID-19”.

Echoing a sentiment expressed by Pope Francis, she said the pandemic, “more than any comparable crisis in recent history,” highlights the need for structural reforms in economic and political life.

FULL STORY

Listening to women can save lives during pandemic, sociologist says (By Damian Avevor, CNS

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