Including Women’s Perspectives In COVID-19 Media Coverage Critical To Addressing Gender Gaps In Pandemic Response, Opinion Piece Says
STAT: Women’s perspectives and voices need more inclusion in Covid-19 media coverage
Nandini Oomman, global health and development specialist and chief executive officer of the Women’s Storytelling Salon; Kathryn Conn, nurse, global health specialist, and chief operating officer of the Women’s Storytelling Salon; and Elizabeth O’Connell, global health strategic partnerships consultant and member of the executive committee of the Washington, D.C., chapter of Women in Global Health
“As media coverage of Covid-19 continues 24/7, it routinely ignores an important dimension of the crisis: its impact on women. Writers — journalists, as well as opinion and commentary writers — have largely excluded women’s perspectives, their critical expertise, and the mounting evidence about how the pandemic is affecting women from Covid-19-related articles. … [M]edia organizations are missing out on leveraging the vast networks of women around the world who not only bear a disproportionate burden of the pandemic but who are also essential to containing the virus. … If women’s views as scientists, health care providers, public health officials, parents, and caregivers are excluded from news stories, their perspectives aren’t included in solutions that will address their particular concerns and challenges. There is a very real risk that gender inequalities will limit the success of the Covid-19 response if we are not able to address gender gaps and allow space for women’s voices and women’s stories. … Writing with awareness of and attention to intersecting biases of gender and race will strengthen the role of the media in informing the public, influencing policymakers, and ensuring that the design and delivery of Covid-19 responses are tailored to the needs of all” (12/5).