Together we RISE

As we are all female focused organisations, we are convinced you are well aware of the effect of the corona crisis on women. But how do we ensure women empowerment and gender equality remain important topics on the agenda during this crisis?

We believe, it’s only by joining forces, we can create the impact that is needed. Needed to create awareness, to drive conversations and ultimately, to change perspectives. It starts with speaking up as a collective and letting our voices be heard. With this, we are giving shape to our brand new initiative ‘RISE’. As a joint effort, shaped and defined by all of your voices, I am convinced we can in fact drive conversations and change perspectives.

That first step, creating awareness, has been taken today. And on behalf of the team of RISE, I am happy to share with you all, that this week, starting Monday 25th, you can view the result of our joined efforts live, on 15 billboards in the Netherlands, with 6.2M impressions. Please view the list of all locations HERE, so you can check them out yourselves too.

Why RISE now.

Before the corona crisis, the percentage of financially independent women in the Netherlands was 46.9%, 71% of women had paid work and three-quarters of all working Dutch women worked part-time. Research indicates that the position of women worldwide will suffer from this pandemic. Past outbreaks, including Zika, Ebola and SARS, have taught us that these types of pandemics have long-lasting implications for gender equality and women’s financial independence.
This specific COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that countries with female heads of state have dealt with the outbreak of the corona crisis in a very successful way. Unfortunately, at the same time, it has also shown that women have been losing their jobs at a higher rate than men during COVID-19. Proof that equality cannot wait any longer. While we need more female leaders to stand up, we also need employers to be aware of the effect of the crisis on women.

It is frustrating that findings like these have not made it through to our policy makers, who still adopt a gender-neutral approach to pandemics. In April, ZonMw Institute interviewed scientists prof. dr. Sabine Oertelt-Prigione and dr. Petra Verdonk about gender in times of corona. The message from both scientists: take gender and diversity into account when determining measures for the short and longer term. The focus must not only be on the health consequences, but also on the social impact of this pandemic.

There are many arguments, but the danger at this moment lies in the fact that we now seemingly have one common enemy: the coronavirus – while women empowerment and gender equality are moving to the background. And that is worrying, because – as we know already, the coronavirus is a disaster for feminism.