Browse by Theme: Gender Equality

As the international debate rages around vaccine nationalism, the world is ignoring one of the most important investments we need to make to ensure fast and fair global vaccine distribution: fair pay and decent working conditions for those who deliver the vaccines, the majority of whom are women. No matter what we spend on vials of vaccines, it will all be worthless if those vaccines don’t make it into patients. Vaccines are useless without delivery systems.

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This report argues that women frontline health workers – who deliver the ‘last mile’ of vaccination programmes and make vaccinations possible – do not get the protection, recognition, equality, and pay that they deserve. Vaccines are useless without delivery systems that depend on women frontline health workers, and global leaders and governments must protect, pay, and value women frontline health workers in order to ensure fast and fair vaccine delivery to at risk and underserved communities.

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As a Syrian woman working on the humanitarian response to the crisis in my own country for the past eight years, I have experienced firsthand how the response was not able to meet the needs of women and girls, without the equal participation and leadership of women in the aid sector.

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Last year, 2020, should have represented the best year ever for EU gender equality policy-making and commitments. Over the course of the year, the EU made some great strides on gender equality and indeed, the year very nearly was a total triumph for EU gender equality ambition. Disappointingly, however, the EU had some inconsistencies in its approach to gender equality throughout the year and also, deplorably, rolled back on previous, fundamental commitments by the end of the year. In this context, can the EU remain a trailblazer and leader on gender equality in 2021 and beyond?

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“It makes both moral and business sense to be a leader in addressing the problem of gender-based violence and harassment.” These were the words of Scott Deitz, Founder of Convene Communication Strategies and former Vice-President at VF Corporation, as he opened the recent Learning Summit organized by CARE and Better Work.

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“I felt humiliated and could not focus on my work after I was harassed by my co-worker. I decided to report to the sexual harassment prevention committee because I trust them.” Pha*, a garment worker in Cambodia, is employed by a factory which has been working with CARE to improve how they respond to reports of workplace sexual harassment. We helped them build an environment where gender-based violence is not tolerated and women are more confident to report incidents of abuse.

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Women and girls’ priorities must be central to crisis response, and the best way to make this happen is to have them lead efforts to prevent and respond. This briefing paper sets out how and why the UK in 2021 must be a global champion for diverse women’s voice and leadership in crisis at the G7, at COP26 and demonstrated through UK Aid.

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