COVID-19 Statement by Feminists and Women’s Rights Organizations

FEMNET joined more than 1,600 individuals and women’s networks and organizations globally, from more than 100 countries, who endorsed the statement to demand States to adopt a feminist policy to address the extraordinary challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in a manner that is consistent with human rights standards and principles. This initiative was initiated by women from the Global South and from marginalized communities in the Global North and was coordinated by the Feminist Alliance for Rights (FAR).

Statement of Feminists and Women’s Rights Organizations from the Global South and from marginalized communities in the Global North

We, the undersigned networks, organizations and individuals committed to feminist principles and women’s human rights, call on governments to recall and act in accordance with human rights standards in their response to COVID-19[1] and uphold the principles of equality and non-discrimination, centering the most marginalized people, including but not limited to women, children, elderly, people with disabilities, people with compromised health, rural people, unhoused people, institutionalized people, LGBT+ people, refugees, migrants, indigenous peoples, stateless people, human rights defenders, and people in conflict and war zones. Feminist policy recognizes and prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable communities. Beyond the response to this pandemic, it is necessary for the development of peaceful, inclusive and prosperous communities within human rights-driven states.

It is critical that governments utilize a human rights and intersectional based approach to ensure that everyone has access to necessary information, support systems and resources during the current crisis. We have recognized nine key areas of focus to be considered in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. They are listed below with brief descriptions of potential challenges and recommendations that consider the lived experiences of people in vulnerable position — especially women and girls that endure a disproportionate impact due to their sex, gender, and sexual orientation — and steer policymakers toward solutions that do not exacerbate their vulnerabilities or magnify existing inequality and ensure their human rights.

These guidelines are not a replacement for the engagement of women and girls and other marginalized communities in decision-making, but a rationale for consultation and diversity in leadership.

The following are the Key Focus Areas for a Feminist Policy on COVID-19:-

  • Food security
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Social inequality
  • Water and sanitation
  • Economic inequality
  • Violence against women, domestic violence/Intimate partner violence
  • Access to information
  • Abuse of power

Click here to read the full Statement

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