Can gender equality make us healthier?


  • Paula Quigley

    Technical Lead, Global Health, DAI

  • Jacqui Moller Larsen

    Senior Global Practice Lead, Health Equity, DAI

  • Cecilia Veas Palaminos

    Public Health Researcher, Ministry of Health, Chile


  • Host & Producer

    Megan Howe

    Global Health Communications Advisor, DAI

  • Artwork & Brand Design

    Kellie Dubois

    Art Director, DAI

Can gender equality make us healthier?

COVID-19 was bad for the planet, bad for democracy, and bad for healthcare—it also dramatically increased inequality.

Between 2019 and 2021, the wealth of the top 0.001 percent grew 14 times more than the global average. But COVID didn’t just exacerbate economic inequality—there have been social consequences, too.

The social and health impacts on women were particularly bad.

According to the United Nations, one in two women say that they or a female they know has experienced violence since the COVID-19 pandemic. Women also picked up a larger share of the domestic burden during the pandemic—meaning unpaid work such as household chores, shopping, and childcare. Women’s labor force participation also declined, with more women taking time out to care for children or manage their households during lockdowns.

Numerous inequality and empowerment metrics suggest that women fared worse than men as a result of COVID. But do these lost “equality gains” matter? Will gender equality really help us build a world that is more resilient? And is equality related to health?

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