Dearest Board Members and Supporters,
We are living in a historical moment, where we all realize those values like parity, inclusivity, good health, peace, and unity—which we consider inalienable, are not; and we must keep them at the forefront of our action plan. The COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic impacts have created a global crisis unparalleled in our history. The latest UN Policy Brief, entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Women,” dated 9 APRIL 2020, has unfortunately found that even in the tragedy of COVID-19, women are some of the main victims. As reported, “The year 2020, mark[s] the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action...intended to be ground-breaking for gender equality. Instead, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, even the limited gains made in the past decades are at risk of being rolled back.” The report concludes that “a pandemic amplifies and heightens all existing inequalities. These inequalities in turn shape who is affected, the severity of that impact, and our efforts at recovery... every COVID-19 response plan...and every recovery package and budgeting of resources, need to address the gender impacts of this pandemic. This means: (1) including women and women’s organizations at the heart of the COVID-19 response; (2) transforming the inequities of unpaid care work into a new, inclusive care economy that works for everyone; and (3) designing socio-economic plans with an intentional focus on the lives and futures of women and girls.” Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex:
Compounded economic impacts are felt especially by women and girls who are generally earning less, saving less, and holding insecure jobs or living close to poverty.
While early reports reveal more men are dying as a result of COVID-19, the health of women generally is adversely impacted through the reallocation of resources and priorities; including sexual and reproductive health services.
Unpaid care work has increased with children out-of-school, and heightened care needs of older persons have overwhelmed health services.
As the COVID-19 pandemic deepens economic and social stress coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, gender-based violence is increasing exponentially. Many women are being forced to ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers at the same time that services to support survivors are being disrupted or made inaccessible.
While women may be the hardest hit by this pandemic, they can also be the backbone of recovery in communities. As of today, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign, managed by UN Women, has kicked-off 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (25 November-10 December) under the global theme, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!." We invite you to spread the word across social platforms and tag each other so we can amplify our voices to support the UN campaign.
On Thanksgiving Day, We Do It Together is grateful and we dedicate our gratitude to women—especially those women at the front lines every single day, inspiring each one of us. We Do It Together will continue to change the narrative, celebrating and supporting women—of every shape and form—every day of the year. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Chiara Tilesi, Founder