In April 2020, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) published a policy brief, in which it shed light on the crucial issue that can no longer be ignored – the COVID-19 pandemic is reinforcing existing inequalities in our society and the long-term impacts of the health crisis will disproportionately affect women and girls.
Society has changed enormously in recent months. The world is under the spell of a pandemic. New manners and customs are appearing, such as no physical contact with others, new ways of greeting each other, social distancing and wearing face masks or alternatives is becoming the norm in public spaces. When it comes to this issue, the WHO is clear: wearing a medical mask can limit the spread of certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19. From a human rights perspective, the latter trend is particularly interesting, especially if we take into account the fact that in some European countries wearing full-face veils in public spaces is prohibited by law and can lead to sanctions (i.e. fines, prison, administrative fines).
The events of the last few days, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and following the death of George Floyd, have prompted an amplification of the racial justice movement in the United States that is resonating everywhere in the world, including in Europe. This blogpost aims to give some insight into this movement from a systemic racism point of view, highlighting how this is far from an isolated incident, but a part of a whole system of oppression that needs dismantling.
I, as the communications coordinator for the European Disability Forum, have been following the COVID-19 impact since beginning of March. It has not been encouraging. Seeing how governments systematically forgot about persons with disabilities, how little support was given and how much pain and problems that created left me very discouraged. Persons with disabilities have been discriminated, isolated, forgotten and subject to multiple and severe human rights violations since the beginning of this crisis.
Equinet’s new interactive tool gives some insight into how National Equality Bodies (NEBs) are responding to the crisis, as well as the current trends which are appearing in its impact on equality across the region.
All of this is hard. We are living unprecedented times, but global response to the crisis should address its potential impact on marginalised groups, including LGBTI people, and their access to healthcare and safety at home, as well as to watch out for discriminatory practices and measures.
Week after week, COVID-19 reveals uncomfortable realities about the unequal societies we live in. All over the world, we have been urged to stay home, by authorities and through the #stayathome campaign. But one of the most blatant truths that we must face is that, for many women and children, home is the most dangerous place to stay.
As the COVID-19 situation develops, it is vital that the core values of equality and non-discrimination continue to be protected and promoted for all. In this blog post, a brief snapshot will be given of some of the main trends of discrimination and inequality related to the COVID-19 crisis that NEBs are seeing in their national work and some of the ways that they are addressing these issues.
A new and scary discrimination trend seems to be arising in Europe - and worldwide - fuelled by fear of contracting COVID-19 against those that are in the frontline of action. The daily lives of nurses, doctors and health care workers is increasingly being affected by discriminatory attitudes and harassment.
Thanks to the support of the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Policy Officer Moana Genevey will be attending the HLPF throughout the week. She will be speaking at 2 events at the UN General Headquarters, and Equinet is a partner in two other events as well.