15 April 2020
We are proud to be part of the worldwide network of YWCAs. All around the world, YWCAs are helping women and their families through this unprecedented time of crisis.
Women, including female-identifying people, and non-binary people are being particularly affected by the social and financial implications of the COVID-19 crisis.
Women comprise 70 per cent of the global healthcare workforce and many are working incredibly long hours in difficult and high-stress jobs to help our communities stay safe and well. For those in other sectors, women are at higher risk of losing jobs during workplace shutdowns.
The domestic burden has also increased for many women with the closure of schools and the expectation that they will care for children, elderly relatives and sick family members.
And sadly, we are seeing reports of domestic violence increasing across the world.
That’s why the YWCA movement is needed now more than ever. YWCAs across the world are working to provide care, support, resources and safe spaces for women and girls in their communities. Here are just a few things our international partners are doing.
Physical health: YWCA Bangladesh and YWCA Japan have made videos to help their communities learn and adhere to health protocols, and YWCA Korea developed the “After You Campaign” to create awareness on how to use face masks.
Emotional health and wellbeing: YWCA Scotland is helping everyone stay virtually connected to avoid feeling emotionally drained during the pandemic with their #YWCANetflixParty, and World YWCA has put together a tool for creating Virtual Safe Spaces.
Gender-based violence safety: YWCA USA quickly produced a video about what can be done to help domestic violence survivors in isolation during social distancing. YWCA Canada recently hosted a town hall on gender equity during COVID-19 to discuss the gendered impact, policy responses and actions to be taken for communities.
Support for community: YWCA Korea, with its 53 local member associations, was amongst the first to respond by providing masks, flower baskets and snacks and meals to first responders, along with initiating fundraising activities for the worst affected region. Other YWCAs are initiating connections via Whatsapp, Facebook and text mechanisms in regions where country lockdowns have been implemented.
Tools and resources: YWCA Ireland has come up with innovative resources for young women and women working from home to ensure better mental health during lockdown.