In this time of compounding global crisis, the world needs to come together to not only fight COVID-19 but to also preserve our commitments to certain shared beliefs. One of these is to uphold the principle of gender equality even in the midst of this humanitarian crisis.
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has a disproportionate impact on people, often as a result of factors such as gender, disabilities, ethnicities, socio-economic class, race and even age. When it comes to differentiated impacts, particularly on women, the UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, with its prevention, participation, protection and role in relief and recovery principles provides an excellent framework for a response strategy for COVID-19.
ASEAN already has a strong commitment towards the Women, Peace and Security agenda as outlined in its joint statement in 2017 on promoting women, peace and security in the region. Key in this statement is the “pledge to promote gender equality and reduce social inequalities between men and women in our societies as a way to contribute to longstanding peace and prosperity” and to protect women from “…discrimination and social exclusion.” All regional commitments on gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights should be upheld during COVID-19 as well. The principles of the ASEAN’s WPS agenda and other international gender equality standards must fully apply during this pandemic.
This webinar aims to bring together a panel of experts from the region to discuss how the WPS agenda can assist in response strategies for member states during COVID-19. More broadly the webinar hopes to highlight how gender inequality in the domestic, and wider political and socio-economic, spheres exaggerates and often prolongs the suffering of women during this pandemic. It will examine how governments, donors, NGOs and civil societies can work together to reaffirm the region’s commitments to the WPS agenda and gender equality and how these commitments can not only be sustained but be brought to the fore in this time.
Dr Sara Davies
Professor at School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University, Australia
Dr Serina Abdul Rahman
Visiting Fellow in the Malaysia Programme at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore
Ms Maria Holtsberg
Humanitarian and Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor at the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Dr Ma. Lourdes Veneracion-Rallonza
Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
Dr Ayesah Uy Abubakar
Head of the Research Cluster on Ethnography & Development, Borneo Institute for Indigenous Studies (BorIIS) in Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Ms. Julia Abad
Executive Director of the Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment (PBCWE)
Dr Tamara Nair
Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), RSIS
Last updated on 25/06/2020