Photograph: Levent Kulu

The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) became a reality of our daily lives globally. People around the globe are at high risk of getting this disease but the risk of infection and its consequences are not the same for all of us.

Pandemics and epidemics, as previous ones proved, increase all existing inequalities. Women and girls and other disadvantaged groups such as persons with disabilities, refugees, people living in poverty experience inequalities and discrimination worse.

As previous crises show, understanding gender dynamics is significant not only for effectiveness of response efforts but also for being ready to be future crisis situations.

Within the scope of the Municipal Services Project under Syria Response and Resilience Program, gender mainstreaming activities have been processed in Gaziantep and Hatay Metropolitan Municipalities.

For months, in addition to several activities in most of the municipalities vocational trainings have been suspended and some of them have been transferred to digital platforms. To be able to continue mainstreaming efforts, videos called Gender Talks were prepared on different gender issues and have been planned to be integrated into digital vocational training platform of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality at once.  

Gender Talks have been prepared in a moderation of Ayşegül Taşıtman and five guests who were experts in their areas. Introduction to Gender Equality; Coronavirus and Gender-Based Violence; Women and Employment; Coronavirus Epidemic; Ways of Protection and Reproduction Health; Gender Equality and Local Governance were subjects which have been discussed with Deniz Tarba Ceylan, Gökçe Bayrakçeken Tüzel, Reyhan Tutumlu, Gökhan Yıldırımkaya, Nihal Şirin Pınarcıoğlu. Through Gender Talks how pandemics have affected gender equality, gender-based violence mechanisms to be applied, difficulties women have been experiencing in labor market, invisible labor in domestic sphere and employment in situation of quarantine; how to protect ourselves from pandemic, reproductive health of women; local policies for fighting coronavirus in a gender responsive way have been issues focused.

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