Canada launches Women RISE Initiative on International Women’s Day

Women Rise Initiative. Image credit: UN

On the observation of Women’s International Day, Canada invests in research to ensure an equitable COVID-19 recovery.

Women and girls around the world have disproportionately suffered the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, women were doing three times as much unpaid care and domestic work as men. Women make up 70 percent of the health workforce worldwide, according to the data from UN Women, and are therefore at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. In 11 countries where sex-disaggregated data is available women account for 71 percent of confirmed cases among health care workers. On many fronts, the limited gains made on gender equity over the last decades are at risk of being rolled back.

Local and global labor markets have been shocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to control the disease have threatened livelihoods, introduced new risks in the workplace, and made unstable work relationships even more precarious. Women have suffered layoffs and loss of livelihoods sacrificed their own health at the frontlines of the pandemic response, and have shouldered the burden of the additional caregiving associated with COVID-19.

To address the gendered impacts of COVID-19, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council have launched a CAD22M research initiative, Women RISE (Women’s health and economic empowerment for a COVID-19 Recovery that is Inclusive, Sustainable and Equitable). 

Global action-oriented, gender-transformative research on how women’s health and their work will be supported by Women RISE whether paid or unpaid, intersect and interact in the preparation for, response to and recovery from COVID-19.

Under the initiative, teams of researchers from low- and middle-income countries and Canada will inform solutions and strategies to improve women’s health and socioeconomic well-being throughout the recovery from COVID-19.

As part of Canada’s commitment to gender equality, to empowering women and girls around the world, and promoting their human rights and well-being, Women RISE would be devoted to global research priorities identified in the United Nations Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery.

#WomenRiseInitiative; #InternationalWomenDay