Calls for women to be involved in Covid-19 planning ahead of any potential fourth Covid wave

Calls for women to be involved in Covid-19 planning ahead of any potential fourth Covid wave

Dr Niamh Lynch, a consultant paediatrician at the Bon Secours Hospital who is involved in the group Covid Women’s Voices, noted how the majority of those working in healthcare are female, while women are also more likely to have a caring role in the family. Picture: Denis Scannell

A CORK doctor has warned that the needs of women must be taken into account during planning for any potential fourth wave of Covid-19.

Dr Niamh Lynch, a consultant paediatrician at the Bon Secours Hospital who is involved in the group Covid Women’s Voices, noted how the majority of those working in healthcare are female, while women are also more likely to have a caring role in the family.

Dr Lynch said support would be needed in regards to these duties, and particularly childcare, in the event of another wave. She called for a plan that is clear and that takes “the needs of women, which are different to the needs of men, into account”.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Covid Women’s Voices group has asked that its “ideas and concerns are heeded in the decision-making process”.

They have also called for the reclassification of children’s shoes and clothing as essential items amid the return to school.

The calls come as Covid-19 cases in Cork have begun to rise, with 41 cases notified in the county yesterday, up from 21 on Tuesday and less than five on Monday.

Nationally, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre confirmed 47 additional deaths related to Covid-19 and 631 new cases.

“The fourth wave could be four or five/six months away, if it even happens. But if it does happen, now is the time to be planning for how things are going to pan out,” said Dr Niamh Lynch.

“Women still feel that they have been under-represented in terms of decisions that are being made around the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. The majority of healthcare workers are women, and so they’ve been the ones who have been very much on the frontline and are certainly experiencing exhaustion and burnout at this stage.”

Dr Lynch said childcare, school, and children’s clothing are “issues that are so practical, but affect the decision-making and the emotional burden, if you like, of women as opposed to men”.

She added: “The challenges that women faced in this wave was that they were trying to juggle their duties in the home and their caring duties in the home with their healthcare work and their caring duties at work.”

The Covid Women’s Voices group has called on representatives from the Cabinet Covid subcommittee to meet with it. The group is a coalition of women from various backgrounds who have come together to advocate for equality and equal representation of women in decision-making roles.

More in this section

Sponsored Content