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International Women's Health Day

Our health, our life - our rights!

When it comes to women's health, many think directly of breast cancer examinations or prenatal care. But there is much more to it than that. Since 1987, International Women's Health Day on May 28th has been drawing attention to the importance of mental and physical health, but also to violence against women *.

One thing is clear: the corona pandemic has affected us all. But not all equally. The pandemic has disproportionately affected the health and general well-being of women *, non-binary, intersex and trans people, and people with disabilities. Worldwide, women * and girls * who have migrated and who have fled in particular are exposed to greater dangers due to the pandemic. This includes the intensification of health inequalities, which manifest themselves in many forms and overlapping levels and which violate the rights of women *. Physical and mental health, reproductive and sexual rights, violence against women *, unequal care work, lack of access to the health system - all of these influence the self-determination of women * about their own health.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of talk about violence against women *. Politicians assured those affected by help and measures - but these are, and were, not sufficient. Because anyone who is at home with a violent partner in the home office or on short-time work has fewer opportunities to file a complaint. Numerous women's shelters and advice centers had reported that a wave of calls for help came in in the summer of 2020 - but the resources that have been missing for a long time are inadequate.

In addition to traces of physical violence, statistics show that the pandemic has exacerbated mental health problems. The corona crisis is causing additional stress, especially for women *, especially due to school and daycare closings. The pandemic is forcing many women * back into traditional gender roles: they take on even more care work in the pandemic and are mother, teacher, educator, cook, pastor and cleaner all rolled into one. If this care work predominates and women * then lose their jobs, they are economically dependent on their partners. This clearly shows us that dealing with mental health is also gender-specific.

“Care work was unevenly distributed even before the Corona crisis, but the discrepancy is growing more and more. In the pandemic, many women * have no time for themselves and often no support. Corona shows how the health of women * is neglected - a situation that has always been latent, but is now becoming particularly clear, "says Kook-Nam Cho-Ruwwe, CEO of DaMigra.

Migrant and refugee women * bear the majority of the pandemic burden. They are exposed to increased psychological pressure, but are also overrepresented as systemically important workers. For DaMigra it is therefore clear: it is essential that the health care of migrant women * and refugee women * is improved! This includes the necessary upgrading of paid and unpaid care work by women *, also in order to relieve them psychologically and temporally, to break up role models and (finally) to reduce economic inequality between the sexes. Advice centers must be accessible, barrier-free and multilingual!

Health is a universal human right and must not be dependent on gender or residence status. Health is a valuable asset and a prerequisite for an independent and self-determined life. Especially in the current time when the human rights of women *, especially by migrant and refugee women *, continue to be systematically violated worldwide, it becomes clear: the health of women * must always have priority during the corona pandemic!

Press contact: presse@damigra.de

Download press release here.

DaMigra eV represents the interests of migrant women * self-organizations and their concerns and advocates equal opportunities, equal participation and the equality of women * with a migration history and refugee experience in Germany. DaMigra follows the approach of anti-racist feminism.


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