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More than a public health crisis: a feminist political economic analysis of COVID-19

Smith, Julia, Davies, Sara E., Feng, Huiyun, Gan, Connie C.R., Grépin, Karen A., Harman, Sophie, Herten-Crabb, Asha, Morgan, Rosemary, Vandan, Nimisha and Wenham, Clare ORCID: 0000-0001-5378-3203 (2021) More than a public health crisis: a feminist political economic analysis of COVID-19. Global Public Health, 16 (8-9). 1364 - 1380. ISSN 1744-1692

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17441692.2021.1896765


Gender norms, roles and relations differentially affect women, men, and non-binary individuals’ vulnerability to disease. Outbreak response measures also have immediate and long-term gendered effects. However, gender-based analysis of outbreaks and responses is limited by lack of data and little integration of feminist analysis within global health scholarship. Recognising these barriers, this paper applies a gender matrix methodology, grounded in feminist political economy approaches, to evaluate the gendered effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and response in four case studies: China, Hong Kong, Canada, and the UK. Through a rapid scoping of documentation of the gendered effects of the outbreak, it applies the matrix framework to analyse findings, identifying common themes across the case studies: financial discrimination, crisis in care, and unequal risks and secondary effects. Results point to transnational structural conditions which put women on the front lines of the pandemic at work and at home while denying them health, economic and personal security–effects that are exacerbated where racism and other forms of discrimination intersect with gender inequities. Given that women and people living at the intersections of multiple inequities are made additionally vulnerable by pandemic responses, intersectional feminist responses should be prioritised at the beginning of any crises.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2021 11:12
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 13:54

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