Gendered impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic

In this fifth seminar of our 2022 series, co-hosted with the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (ACHLR), Professor Sara Davies discussed how gender roles determined women’s risk exposure. These findings demonstrate an urgent need to introduce crisis response measures that differentiate the gendered social and economic impacts of crises, especially for informal workers.

Abstract: Studies examining the gendered impacts of COVID-19 have shown that women have been disproportionately impacted by the socio-economic effects of the pandemic across multiple areas, including economic and food security. These studies sought to understand how the impacts of the pandemic on women’s food security in the Indo Pacific region were influenced by women’s roles in performing the unpaid labor, work, and care involved in social reproduction. 183 female farmers and vendors (market stallholders) were interviewed in Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.

What was found was that while the countries examined were being impacted by COVID-19 at different stages of the pandemic and in distinct contexts, all interviewed women described an impact on their labor, processes of reproduction, and private household dynamics. Significantly, women began to ration food before the crisis hit their region and engaged in risk-management behaviors to mitigate against food and income insecurity.


Guest presenter

Sara DaviesSara E. Davies is a Professor in the School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University. Her current research focuses on global health governance and the women, peace and security agenda. Recent publications include Containing Contagion: The Politics of Disease Outbreaks in Southeast Asia (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) and “Women are most affected by pandemics — lessons from past outbreaks”, Nature (July 2020, with Clare Wenham, Julia Smith, Huiyun Feng, Karen A. Grépin , Sophie Harman, Asha Herten-Crabb and Rosemary Morgan).

About the series

The QUT Global Law, Science and Technology Seminar Series aims to bring together national and international speakers who will explore the personal, societal and governance dimensions of solving real world problems which are influenced by, and through the interactions of science, technology and the law.

The series will host speakers who think about ‘technology’ and ‘science’ as broadly construed to refer to methods of framing or interacting with the world, and that enable the critical and imaginative questioning of the technical, science, environmental and health dimensions of law and life.

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