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Women and children suffering in this pandemic

Dear Editor,

This pandemic and its devastating effects to health, education, social aspects, and economy have unraveled 25 years of progress of development achievements within a year.

The health, education and capital of women and children, who were already vulnerable, racialized, and underrepresented, have been drastically affected especially in low- and middle-income countries. In Canada, more than 1.5 million women live in poverty due to systemic barriers to good employment which has only gotten worse in this pandemic. It is estimated that an additional 47 million women and children will be pushed to extreme poverty worldwide. Due to this, basic health will be inaccessible to this community which has already started to happen.

Importance and advocacy for gender equality cannot be overstated and investment in children is equivalent to investment in our future. COVID-19 threatens limited but hard-won gains in protecting women health and capital which is why we must come together to prevent from further damage.

Canada must protect the health of women and children during the pandemic by investing $250 million over three years in the Global Financing Facility (GFF). The strategy of GFF for 2021-2025 and their proven solutions is well positioned to efficiently aid this cause.

Thank you for your consideration,

Zohra Khatoon

Ottawa, Ontario