APWLD Survey on COVID-19
In March, at the beginning of the spread of the coronavirus in Asia and the Pacific, APWLD conducted a survey among our members to understand concerns, feminist responses locally, and how the organisation can take actions regionally. The responses were convened regionally to provide overviews, and several themes were identified.
Key findings include:
- The most marginalised groups are hardest hit by the crisis; people depending on daily income are losing livelihoods across the region and facing increasing food insecurity.
- Women and girls are facing increasing care and domestic work burden, and there are rising cases of domestic violence.
- Public health systems across the region are under significant pressure, with many of them operating beyond capacity.
- Evidence from Philippines and India, are signaling particularly militaristic and authoritarian responses from the governments.
- The peoples’ movements are facing unprecedented challenges, with limited mobility and looming recession.
- APWLD members and partners have been providing vital support to local communities, from information distribution, to direct relief packages, to innovative solutions such as neighbourhood resource exchange systems.
The survey results also show our members demanding states to initiate feminist responses that:
- Are women and People-centered, using intersectional analysis to map differentiated impacts on vulnerable groups that are already affected by the intersecting powers of globalisation, fundamentalisms, militarism and patriarchy.
- Create feminist spaces and ensure women’s meaningful engagement in decision making processes.
- Ensure all messages, measures and policies in tackling the pandemic are gender sensitive and responsive.
- Aim for structural change, including dismantling neoliberal capitalism that prolong the pandemic crisis. Redefine economies that work for the people, including tackling the underlying issues of women’s burden to paid and unpaid care works, as well as providing sustained and long-term economic relief for the most marginalised such as universal access to public services and universal social protection.
- Continuously monitor and document situations in the community, including monitoring of human rights violations and building collective actions to expose and address the issue.
- Proactively think through community-based solutions rooted in feminist organising.
- Focus on Psycho-social intervention to address the issue of emotional distress and mental well-being and to uplift the morale of women region-wide, who may feel isolation due to narratives of governments and corporations
- Strengthen solidarity and care within feminist movements and between peoples’ movements.
Recognising the limitations in timeframe and the digital gap, the survey was followed up by a story collection questionnaire as well as focus group discussions with specific constituencies such as women with disabilities.