2020. The year to rally around the climate, human rights, peace, and development – with 10 years to go until the Sustainable Development Goals are due. It is also the year to celebrate the wins for gender equality during the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. Yet, here we are – in the middle of an unprecedented global pandemic that has reached every country in the world. All of us in the Girls’ Globe community around the world are impacted by this crisis. That’s why we want to provide support for activists during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
We’re beginning to see the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic – which most probably are only the tip of the iceberg.
The many deaths we’re witnessing as the Coronavirus sweeps from country to country is a devastating loss. Countries’ healthcare systems are strained. Health professionals are working tirelessly – many times underpaid in high risk and unsafe environments.
We know that the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic go well beyond adverse health outcomes due to the virus. Movements for gender equality, human rights and social justice are seeing other risks ahead.
A third of the world’s population is now in some kind of isolation. We’re witnessing friends losing their jobs and seeing the news of the turbulent economic times we’re in. Many are worried about how they will make a living and how they will meet their children’s basic needs. Access to essential health care like sexual and reproductive health services – including abortion – are at risk. During other epidemics, there have also been strong increases in maternal deaths due to a lack of prioritization of maternal health services.
Women’s rights organizations are warning for a rise in domestic violence in a time when many families are isolated. The burden of domestic work will fall on many women’s shoulders, increasing the gendered burden of the Pandemic. With more people in insecurity and in locked down communities – many worry about a rise in mental illness.
In addition, the side-effects of this crisis will harm minority groups who are already struggling more than others.
This is a global crisis and we have difficult times ahead.
How do we continue our activism in this time of crisis? Here are 3 things to support activists during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
It may seem like the world is coming to a halt, or maybe even taking several steps back. Global solidarity is essential to limit the negative effects of this crisis. Together we can push forward. We can continue to create momentum for gender equality, human rights and social justice. We need to stick together and collaborate creatively. Here are the things I believe can be of support for activists during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
1. Self Care
This is the most important. I don’t want to downplay the difficulty of the situation we’re in. You need to care for yourself before you can care for others. Taking necessary action (on inaction) for your own wellbeing is essential to continue your important work.
Meditate. Read a book. Talk to a friend. Listen to inspiring stories from resilient women. Practice mindfulness and focus on what you can control. Ask for help if you need it.
2. Adjust Your Activism in the Digital Age
As our daily connections are limited and meetings are being cancelled around the world – it is time to engage digitally. This may be difficult to do if you’re working with grassroots activism in low-connectivity areas. Perhaps, now may be an opportunity to engage people in support of your cause.
To be impactful online it’s essential to understand your mission and your audience. Be clear on who you want to engage with and how you can reach them best. Take your time to understand the different tools and services available online.
At Girls’ Globe we want to support activists, advocates, experts and organizations to create meaningful online connections.
Are you struggling to find a way to engage with your audience online? Or do you want to build skills in using digital communications and media for storytelling and advocacy? We’re developing a set of digital trainings to support you in this process. Sign up to show your interest! You’ll be the first to know when our trainings are available.
Do you want to reach an engaged global audience that cares about gender equality, human rights and social justice? Become a Girls’ Globe member and share your stories, news, opinions and research through our platform.
Stay in touch with your close community, your family and friends, near and far. Call more often. Send an uplifting message. Share a laugh over a video call.
Solidarity is a cornerstone in any social change process. You can build community online in many ways. Connect with those working with the issues you’re passionate about. Join Facebook Groups. Create group chats in WhatsApp or Skype.
I want to connect with you.
How are you feeling and how are you impacted by the pandemic? Is there something you’re particularly concerned about in regards to gender equality, human rights and social justice during this time? What do you need help with? Have you found something inspiring or helpful that can support activists during the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Please share your insights in the comments below. Together we can continue to build global solidarity that will help us through these tough times.