How can the Caribbean build back better from COVID-19 considering the gender and social inequalities that exist?
Judith Wedderburn brings her decades of experience as an educator, facilitator, advocate & researcher in the field of gender & development in Jamaica & the wider Caribbean. This episode is in collaboration with the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) as part of the Better than Before: Leveraging COVID-19 Recovery for a Sustainable Caribbean series.
From Judith’s perspective, sustainable development is strongly linked to poverty reduction and gender equality. So, for the Caribbean to build back better, investments & post-COVID recovery measures must be aligned with fairness, inclusion, justice & economic development. There must be commitment to understanding the gaps in equity through research using a gender lens.
Judith explains how all forms of social inequalities, including gender inequalities, are systemic. Therefore, it is important to take a gender-responsive approach to development. This means that men's gender needs, like those of women, are taken into account. She shares some of her work across the Caribbean that has helped women become their best advocate and give them a voice to address the gender gaps.
In this episode we hear sobering insights about the reality of the impacts of COVID-19. Judith explains how the pandemic has made the social situation worse, especially for young girls, as access to safeguards against abuse or violence has been lost. Furthermore, the pandemic prevented persons from engaging in normal social engagement, which is part of the social inclusion that is commonly experienced.
To build back better, Judith believes that as a Caribbean we are stronger together. We need to share information, and work together against common challenges.
Connect with CANARI:
The Better Than Before series is supported under the “Amplifying local voices for a just and resilient COVID-19 recovery” project, which is being implemented by CANARI in collaboration with Panos Caribbean, with funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). Better Than Before is hosted by Derval Barzey, edited and produced by Breadfruit Media, with artwork by Carey Digital.