SSN Commentary

Climate and COVID-19 Crises Both Need Feminism – Here’s Why

Policy field

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Syracuse University

Originally published as "Climate and COVID-19 Crises Both Need Feminism – Here’s Why," The Hill, May 16, 2021.

People all over the world are reeling from the one-two punch of climate change and COVID-19. The overlapping crises are exposing and intensifying patterns of disadvantage, marginalization and inequality for vulnerable people including the poor, minorities, children, women and the elderly. Most policymakers are still scrambling to deal with climate change and the pandemic as separate problems. But feminism offers ways of responding to both predicaments at the same time by providing a roadmap.

Instead of analyzing each crisis separately, we learn more by looking at how they intersect. Both climate change and the coronavirus pandemic have uneven, unequal and long-lasting impacts that depend on where you live, who you are, and what you have. Feminism helps identify these often-invisible contours of sufferings by highlighting underappreciated ways that people relate to each other as individuals, groups and institutions. Approaching these crises by centering feminism can help formulate fairer policies and projects that help improve life for everyone.