How would you spend $1 million on COVID-19 gender research grant money?

While the COVID-19 pandemic heightened the severe social, structural and economic inequalities experienced by marginalised groups, including specific groups of women and girls, men and boys, and gender diverse people, our research agenda setting process invited participants across the globe to share how they would use a million dollars’ worth of research grant money. Responses cut across the gamut of gender and COVID-19 issues and also were inclusive of many communities traditionally marginalised.

Jackielyn Ruiz, Instructor from the University of Philppines noted that they would Identify the health and safety needs of women and LGBTIA+ and form responsive programs around access to health services, safe return to work and safe work environments.

Using research grant funding innovatively, Grace Maria Kentaro, Lecture/PhD student at Makerere University, Uganda noted that she would use the money to carry out participatory studies to help women and children in my country. “I would build shelters for women and girls who are victims of Gender Based Violence .” She noted that the prevalence rates of women that face physical or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime is at 50% in the Uganda, with a 46% rate in child marriage. Furthermore research has highlighted that COVID-19, with its far reaching economic implications make it even harder to end child marriage.

Patents have been a hot button issue throughout the pandemic, as public health and intellectual property are at an interlock. In light of this, Marlise Richter from the Health Justice Initiative in South Africa said she would research how Intellectual Property protections on COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostic tools and therapeutic treatments have a disproportionate impact on women, and particularly marginalised and underserved groups in the Global South.

Shifting into revisiting institutional transformation within gender and COVID-19 research, Jeannette Wolfe, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Massachusets-Baystate USA said, “Develop infrastructure along the research pipeline- funding agencies, reviewers, editors, etc- that ensures that biological sex and/or gender is accounted for both in design and analysis of all research trials”. Scientist from WHO Veloshnee Govender shared “Strengthen capacity and networks between Southern countries and institutions for conducting gender and COVID-19 research through peer-to-peer mentorship, training, and exchange between institutions.”

Summing up a broad idea of how to invest a million dollars for research, Yasmeen Qazi from Pakistan shared “Qualitative research and analysis of pathways for gender mainstreaming in the health system in the context of COVID-19 policy and action”. More of the buzzboard participants have shared their thoughts, which can be found on our buzz board and on the tiles below.


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