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Why COVID-19 is a disaster for gender equality

April 21, 2020
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Farrah Khan, Ryerson University

Farrah Khan
Consent Comes First Office, Ryerson University


From the division of labour in the home or the rising threat of violence against women to their over-representation in the care economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has serious gendered implications for women and girls. Statistics Canada reports that 1 in 10 Canadian women are “very concerned or extremely concerned” about the possibility of violence in the home during, while over 62% of all jobs lost in the first month of the COVID-19 wake were held by women. This global pandemic not only threatens our economy and health but it also heightens the way gender inequality shapes all our lives. In this session, renowned gender equity advocate and educator, Farrah Khan, reviews how this pandemic impacts women — and shares ways we can all navigate this historically challenging time.



Farrah Khan is a nationally recognized advocate and educator with two decades of addressing sexual violence. Currently, she leads Ryerson’s Consent Comes First Office while continuing to be an important voice at many national and international tables. She is the founder of Possibility Seeds, external link, opens in new window, a member of the Government of Canada's Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence Advisory Council, external link, opens in new window, board member of Girl Guides of Canada and the Member of the Community Advisory Group for the Ontario Human Rights Commission, external link, opens in new window. Farrah is co-founder of innovative community projects including Use The Right Words: Media Reporting on Sexual Violence, external link, opens in new window and co-director of Courage to Act, external link, opens in new window, the first national project of its kind to address and prevent gender-based violence on post-secondary campuses in Canada. She regularly contributes to national media with her expertise in addressing gender-based violence and is the recipient of the numerous awards including the Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital People Award. In 2018 Farrah was appointed to the Gender Equality Advisory Council for the G7 Summit., external link, opens in new window At the Summit, Farrah addressed an audience of world leaders insisting that any discussion about a thriving, sustainable and peaceful world is not possible without taking concrete action on gender equity.

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