COVID-19 and the gendered markets of people and products: explaining inequalities in infections and deaths

Hawkes, S., & Buse, K.

COVID-19 has exposed and exploited existing inequalities in gender to drive inequities in health outcomes. Evidence illustrates the relationship between occupation, ethnicity and gender to increase risk of infection in some places. Higher death rates are seen among people also suffering from non-communicable diseases – e.g. heart disease and lung disease driven by exposure to harmful patterns of exposure to corporate products (tobacco, alcohol, ultra-processed foods), corporate by-products (e.g. outdoor air pollution) or gendered corporate processes (e.g. gendered occupational risk). The paper argues that institutional gender blindness in the health system means that underlying gender inequalities have not been taken into consideration in policies and programmatic responses to COVID-19.

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