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Protest: women invisible in Coronavirus response


COVID-19, joint call, 50 signatures, women and girls, government measures, Coronavirus, Fawcett Society, event series,Caroline Criado Perez, Womens Budget Group, Southall Black SistersTaxpayers’ money is being spent without consideration of the specific challenges women are facing.

A wide range of women’s organisations have signed a joint call for women and girls to be made visible, to be heard and have their needs met during the Coronavirus crisis response.

The statement runs:

“The Coronavirus pandemic is exceptionally difficult for everyone and is having a huge impact on all our lives.

So far, women and girls in the UK have been largely invisible from the debate and excluded from decision-making.

Now schools and nurseries have closed their doors it will be women who take on most of the unpaid care work, reducing their hours or giving up paid work, turning the clock back on gender equality.

Many women are on the frontline, delivering essential services, usually the lowest paid or in insecure work.

Many women will be trapped in their homes, self-isolating with an abusive partner.

It’s women who are also more likely to care for older or disabled relatives and neighbours.

Yet hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being spent without considering the specific challenges women are facing.

​Women and girls in all their diversity must be seen, have their voices heard and their needs met.”

This statmeent has, to date, been signed by:

Adina Claire – Acting Co-Chief Executive, Women’s Aid Federation of England

Adrienne Darragh – Chief Executive, Hibiscus Initiatives

Angela Everson – CEO, WomenCentre

Anna Herrmann – Joint Artistic Director, Clean Break

Anne Mc Vicker – Director, Women’s Resource & Development Agency-WRDA

Anthea Sully – Chief Executive, White Ribbon UK

Baljit Banga – Executive Director, Imkaan

Caroline Criado Perez – award-winning writer and campaigner

Catherine Fookes – Director, Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales

Cerys Furlong – Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg

Clare Murphy – Director of External Affairs, British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Faeeza Vaid MBE – Executive Director, Muslim Women’s Network UK

Gisela Valle – Director, Latin American Women’s Rights Service

Hannah Shead – Chief Executive Office, Trevi House

Harriet Wistrich – Director, Centre for Women’s Justice

Helen Pankhurst – Convenor, Centenary Action Group

Hera Hussain – Founder, CHAYN

Iman Atta – Director, Tell MAMA

Iman Atta – Director, Faith Matters

Jane van Zyl – Chief Executive, Working Families

Jemima Olchawski – Chief Executive, Agenda

Joeli Brearley, – Founder, Pregnant Then Screwed

Julie Budge – Founder / CEO, My Sisters’ House C.I.O

Dr Kate Paradine – Chief Executive, Women in Prison

Laura Seebohm – Executive Director, Changing Lives

Laurie Lee – CEO, CARE International UK

Lee Chalmers – Founder, Director, The Parliament Project

Lisa Dando FRSA – Director, Brighton Women’s Centre

Lisa-Marie Taylor – CEO, FiLiA

Maggie Parks OBE – Chief Executive, The Women’s Centre Cornwall

Mandu Reid – Leader, Women’s Equality Party

Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson – Director, UK Women’s Budget Group

Matt Home – Director, Willowdene Rehabilitation

Natasha Walter and Marchu Girma – Directors, Women for Refugee Women

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs – CEO, Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA)

Niki Scordi – Chief Executive, Advance Charity

Nikki Guy – Centre Manager, Stockport Women’s Centre

Pip Eldridge – Interim Director, TIME’S UP UK

Pragna Patel – Director, Southall Black Sisters

Professor Sophie Harman – Queen Mary University of London

Rokaiya Khan – CEO, Together Women

Rosalind Bragg – Director, Maternity Action UK

Sam Smethers – Chief Executive, The Fawcett Society

Sarah Tomlin – Equal Power Coordinator, 50:50 Parliament

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu – Lawyer, Political & Women’s Rights Activist

Sneh Jani-Patel and Olivia Head – Co-Founders, Bread and Roses

Sophia Benedict – Women’s Services Manager, Southwark and Lewisham Women’s Hubs, Pecan

Sophie Walker – Chief Executive, Young Women’s Trust

Stacy Smith – Chief Executive Officer, Her Centre

Suzanne Jacob – CEO, SafeLives


Vanessa Pine – Co-Founder, Activate Collective.

And the first #CoronaConversations online event series – ‘Coronavirus crisis: why we need to make women visible’ is being held on 7 April.

Tune in online from 6:30-8:00pm to watch Fawcett Society CEO Sam Smethers in conversation with prominent leaders in the women’s sector discussing how Coronavirus is affecting women and girls in the UK and why we urgently need to make their experiences more visible.

You will hear from award-winning writer and campaigner Caroline Criado Perez on women’s lack of visibility during the UK’s crisis response; Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters, on the specific impacts of Coronavirus on black and minority women experiencing gender-based violence; and Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director of the Women’s Budget Group, on the economic impacts particularly on low-income women.

There will then be Q&As. For more information about how to join in, or send questions, click here.

The event is being hosted via Zoom. Please register by clicking here.

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