Thank You - WGH Norway COVID 50/50 Taskforce
As we thank the task force members for their contribution, we welcome all members to reflect on the activities that have been organized by the group in 2020-2021.
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Women in Global Health (WGH) Norway and its Secretariat is enormously proud and thankful for the time and energy spent by the members of the COVID 50/50 task force. The activities driven by the task force have made our network relevant and provided capacity and skill development for our national network. As we thank the task force members for their contribution, we welcome all members to reflect on the activities that have been organized by the group in 2020-2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented times in all aspects of life; health, economic, social, and political, in which research has shown that women have been the most impacted. Early in the pandemic, WGH global put forward Five Asks for Gender-Responsive Global Health Security:
- Include women in global health security decision making structures and public discourse
- Provide health workers, most of whom are women, with safe and decent working conditions
- Recognize the value of women’s unpaid care work by including it in the formal labour market and redistributing unpaid family care equally
- Adopt a gender-sensitive approach to health security data collection/analysis and response management
- Fund women’s movements to unleash capacity to address critical gender issues.
To address these 5 Asks, WGH global encouraged it national chapters to establish COVID-19 task forces, in line with the COVID 50/50 campaign. The WGH Norway Secretariat created a survey to gain insight into how many of its members were working directly with COVID-19. This led to inviting and welcoming members to volunteer and take part in a national COVID 50/50 task force. Members were asked to share and highlight specific actions and activities they were interested in - in alignment with the WGH global COVID 50/50 campaign.
Organization and results
Based on the interest ignited by the survey and the feedback received by the WGH Norway members, the first COVID 50/50 Taskforce meeting was held in June 2020 with 18 attendees. Advisory group member, Candela Iglesias Chiesa was appointed as the task force leader. The task force met monthly for one year with at least 7 members present for the final meeting (15 members were officially still part of the task force at this point).
The task force formed three subgroups:
1. SHORT STORIES
The aim was to develop case studies and local stories relevant to the 5 Asks by highlighting women working on the front lines and community leaders in the global health space in Norway. These short stories were completed as a Question-and-Answer (Q&A) series, both written and video, that were published on the WGH Norway website and on social media.
Q&A Interview, Bobbie Ray Sannerud on "Closing the gender gap is vital on the mental health front”
Q&A Live Interview, Marianne Jahre sharing personal and professional lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic
Q&A Interview, Parvathi Rau Bains about her experience working with vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Q&A Interview, Gunnveig Grødeland shares personal and professional lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic in Norway
Q&A Interview, Anne-Karin Kolstad on how “Collaboration is key to the crisis”
Q&A Interview, Ingrid Tiegland shares how her background as a medical doctor has shaped her current work
Q&A Interview, Julia Marzioch shares her birthing story and reflects on what it was like to embark on a journey as a new mother during the COVID-19 pandemic
2. VIRTUAL EVENTS
This subgroup focused on organizing virtual events around the 5 Asks. The Virtual Event, “Addressing Career Development for Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Norway,” was successfully held in February 2021. The organizing team invited speakers to share reflections and individual experiences about how COVID-19 has affected career development prospects in Norway. This was recorded and is available for future viewing.
3. RAPID ASSESSMENT
This subgroup aimed to carry out a rapid assessment to understand gender gaps and challenges within the global health field in Norway and in relation to the 5 Asks. The group succeeded in creating a directory of stakeholders including NGOs, government agencies, academic and others, who, at least on their websites, claimed to be working on COVID-19 and Gender.
A special thanks to Advisory Group member and the task force leader, Candela Iglesias Chiesa for her excellent leadership throughout this period. The pioneer work done in this task force positions WGH Norway for a sustainable and flexible system for skills development and member engagement moving forward. The Secretariat will ensure that all the members are invited to participate in the next stage of member engagement and we look forward to seeing many of you engage as we move forward, so stay tuned!