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Thank you for sharing. We are one step closer to unmasking gender health inequities.

Unmasking
Gender Inequity.

Women have experienced health inequities in BC for decades. The COVID-19 pandemic is making these worse — this affects us all.
Show me how

Women’s health, safety, and financial security have suffered, with potential long-term consequences.

Women &
Covid-19

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Yes, it's true

This statistic is from Unmasking Gender Inequity: revealing the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on women's health.
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$2.6 Billion

If we improve the system for women, we could save over $2 billion each year in lost work hours.
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Financial Fallout:

Women + Work

Over half of working women in BC are in one of four industries. These industries were the first to be impacted by job losses, to a greater extent, and for longer. This leaves these women at risk of continued financial instability as COVID-19 pandemic measures continue.

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Closures in these four industries led to women in BC losing 60% more jobs in March than men. By April, the effective unemployment rate for women was 28%.

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“I am terrified of not being able to afford rent when CERB discontinues.”

Financial instability from lost hours or reductions in income is impacting women’s health. The longer the period of unemployment, the greater the impact on mental health.

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Share these facts to help ensure policy makers, employers, community leaders, care providers, and wider society have the knowledge to take action.

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Business:

Workplace Exposure

Over half of employed women in BC work in one of four industries with high face-to-face interactions: healthcare, retail, education, and hospitality. They are at a greater occupational risk of COVID-19 infection.

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% OF WOMEN OCCUPATION

Even within the same industry, women hold roles with greater risk. In retail, women are more likely to be employed in highly interactive retail sales and cashier roles, while men are more likely to be in less risky sales manager and service station attendant roles.

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Gender

Even within the same industry, women hold roles with greater risk. In retail, women are more likely to be employed in highly interactive retail sales and cashier roles, while men are more likely to be in less risky sales manager and service station attendant roles.

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Explore specific job risks. Use this to make informed decisions whether you’re a business leader, policy maker, or simply have an interest as an individual.

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Unsustainable Support:

Caring for Others

Even before the pandemic, 30% of women in BC supported people who have long-term illness, disabilities or are ageing, racking up an estimated 6 million unpaid caregiving hours a week. With school and daycare closures, women attributed 6x more lost work hours each week to family responsibilities than men.

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With school and daycare closures, women attributed 6x more lost work hours each week to family responsibilities than men.

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“I am stretched to my limits in every capacity, but I can't manage to get a break from anything. I am always at home, my work is now always with me at home, and my child is also here with me 24/7.”

Financial instability from lost hours or reductions in income is impacting women’s health. The longer the period of unemployment, the greater the impact on mental health.

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Your voice is a powerful tool for change. By sharing how the COVID-19 pandemic has directly or indirectly impacted your health, you can help make this an issue that can’t be ignored.

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SAFETY AT HOME:

Gender-based Violence

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, every six days a woman was killed by her intimate partner in Canada. During the initial six weeks of stringent public health measures in April and May 2020, that number rose to one every three days.

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Nationally 16% of women reported concerns about domestic violence as an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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42% of women

42% of women who have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner have received serious injuries as a result.

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Our Women Experiencing Violence fund works collaboratively with the Ending Violence Association of BC to fund virtual communications platforms and direct assistance to over 300 women’s shelters, transition houses, and organizations across the province.

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THE PANDEMIC HAS EXACERBATED EXISTING INEQUITIES

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“I am definitely experiencing depression. I am normally a very upbeat person but the loss of my job, and not being able to see my circle of friends and colleagues is really starting to affect me adversely.”

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THIS IMPACTS WOMEN’S HEALTH

Initial data in Canada suggests that women are experiencing greater mental health issues including higher levels of depression and anxiety since the onset of the pandemic.

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“Anxious, worried, spiralling, lost, lonely, sense of impending doom. Feelings of inadequacy and that I'm doing a horrible job as a mother and provider.”

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Emerging evidence shows this trend reflected in BC with increased rates of depression and anxiety compared with pre-pandemic levels, a burden seen most significantly in young women.

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We want to hear from you. Together, our stories will bring women’s unique experience into the spotlight.

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From exposure at work to increased stress at home, women are impacted mentally and physically by the fallout of this pandemic.

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THIS IMPACTS EVERYONE

Healthy women are critical to our collective future. They are central to our families, communities, and essential services. And, improving the health system to enable women to stay healthy has the potential to save the BC economy up to $2.6 billion annually.

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“I don't know why, but in this day and age, even with women working full-time hours the same as men, the brunt of the house work and the child care still seems to fall on our shoulders. It's exhausting.”

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Essential services need healthy women. Women represent the majority of frequently under-valued essential service roles. We must ensure that the health needs of these workers are met to keep these services operating and sustainable.

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Doctors

Making changes to support women staying healthy has the potential to save up to $2.6 billion in BC annually, and up to $17.8 billion across Canada. Achieving gender equality would increase the growth rate of output by 9% in BC and by 6% across Canada over the next decade.

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$2.6 Billion

Making changes to support women staying healthy has the potential to save up to $2.6 billion in BC annually, and up $17.8 billion across Canada. Achieving gender equality would increase the growth rate of output by 9% in BC and by 6% across Canada over the next decade.
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Healthy women are critical to our collective future. Let’s make strides to improve this today.
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Healthy women are critical to our collective future. They are central to our families, communities, and essential services. And, improving the healthcare system to enable women to stay healthy has the potential to save the BC economy up to $2.6 billion annually.

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Yes, it's true

This statistic is calculated from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research’s public database, from 2008-2018.
only 8% of health research funding goes to womens health
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“I don't know why, but in this day and age, even with women working full time hours THE SAME AS MEN, the brunt of the house work and the child care still seems to fall on our shoulders. It's exhausting.”

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This is systemic

Gender inequity in healthcare is systemic—and it’s not new. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that there is still so much we don’t know about women’s health.

Despite decades of progress in health research, policy, and practice, women still face many barriers in accessing the high-quality healthcare they deserve that do not impede men.

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Despite decades of progress in health research, policy, and practice, women still face many barriers in accessing the high-quality healthcare they deserve that do not impede men.

Read more about these inequities in BC.

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During the pandemic these inequities increased.

Women’s health research is chronically underfunded. Over the past ten years, 1% of salary awards went to women’s health researchers in Canada, and in BC, women’s health grants made up only 8% of government health research grants.

Read more about the Research Divide.

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THis has led to:

Misdiagnosis: Doctors are more likely to diagnose women’s pain as psychological, and are inclined to give women less pain medication than men.

Minimized symptoms: Women make up 70% of patients with “medically unexplained symptoms” and these symptoms are frequently incorrectly linked to a psychological origin.

Poorly targeted treatment: Women experience 50-75% of adverse drug reactions, yet many medications prescribed to women have often been tested only on men.

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Society has been turned upside down. Now is the time to define how it should be reenvisioned to better serve everyone.

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THIS IS  SYSTEMIC

Gender inequity in healthcare is systemic—and it’s not new. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this issue, underscoring that for far too long, women have been unheard, unseen and misunderstood.

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“We both lost our jobs and don't have extended health. Unfortunately, I have to choose between food/shelter and fixing a cavity.”

By sharing your personal story to raise awareness, amplifying the work of engaged individuals and organizations on social media, or donating to initiatives that improve women’s health, you can help to change the way forward for women.

Join us as we work towards a future of healthy women everywhere, capable of anything.