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The securitization of COVID-19 has resulted in insecurity and instability for certain groups, communities, and individuals within a society. It can be argued that securitization is not the best response to health emergencies, because it poses greater risks to certain groups in society. Women have historically borne the brunt of epidemics and pandemics, and continue to be vulnerable to higher economic, social, and health risks. During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, women were more likely to be infected by the virus, largely due to their role as caregivers and as healthcare workers. Nothing changed with COVID-19. From an increase in domestic violence, reduced pay, and job losses to limited access to sexual and reproductive health services during the lockdown, women’s experiences have continued to be ignored in pandemic response policy. Why has nothing changed? Why are women still unaccounted for in government policy?
Akanksha Patil from the Public Sphere Journal (PSJ) podcast brings you an insightful discussion with Arush Lal on health security and women, who serves as the Board Vice-Chair for Women in Global Health. He has previously worked as a consultant for WHO, PAHO, and global health advisor for VAW Global Health Alliances.
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash