As COVID-19 restrictions in the United States begin to lessen and normalcy begins to return, we are faced with the question: ‘Is that the society we really want to go back to?’ Governments worldwide are beginning to propose innovative ways to turn the setbacks we’ve faced because of COVID-19 into an opportunity to progress forward. In theme with womxn’s history month, I urge us to look at recovery plans through a feminist framework. I’ve outlined the basic ideas and if you’re interested in reading the details click on the links at the bottom of the article!
What is a ‘feminist economic recovery from COVID-19’?
This pandemic has caused one of the most severe economic recessions and society needs rehabilitation unlike ever before. On the road to recovery, many resources will be allocated to help rebuild parts of society that have been impacted. Through a feminist framework, those whose lives have been most impacted will be proportionately represented. That may seem like a no-brainer however, the systemic sexism and racism in our society have previously prohibited these types of policies. The process of policymaking is not only lacking diverse frameworks but also the proper platforms for diverse voices to be heard. Take the step as an individual to diversify your narrative!
One of the biggest differences in a feminist recovery plan compared to others is making care work essential and providing it the proper economic support. Investing in care work would create more job opportunities as it includes childcare, education, and eldercare. Overall, a feminist recovery plan includes policies that advocate for better working conditions that produce higher quality work while increasing the general workforce.
Additionally, something that sets feminist recovery plans apart from pre-existing society, is the attention to the increase in gender-based violence since the pandemic began. Staying at home has not been the safest option for all and statistically, it is common for this to overlap with racism. Hate crimes against any race and any gender are not okay and policies need to do a better job at reflecting the width of the issue at hand. Supporting womxn who need help can come from targeted investing in economic stimulus and more accessible housing.
Why is it important?
Understanding the basics of what a feminist economic recovery plan from COVID-19 can look like helps us to create a platform where these ideas are being discussed. Communities of all sizes, including colleges, can implement a feminist framework in their COVID-19 recovery plan.
Fighting for an inclusive policy is hot girl sh*t and we are here for it. If you need the motivation to find interest in public policy just remember that pretty soon we’ll be living in the big bad world and it won’t just be people at arm's length away that are dealing with the consequences of unequal opportunity. (And if you have been able to put off this responsibility for so long says something and could be something to reflect on.)
Sources and Additional Information