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A crisis to worsen all crises: living with lockdowns in the Global South.

In this episode Reva Yunus and Aleida Borges talk about the gendered aspects of a very ‘punitive’ pandemic response, especially in the Global South. Dr Aleida Mendes Borges also talks about the book, “Pandemic response and the cost of lockdowns. Global debates from humanities and social sciences”, which she co-edited with Peter Sutoris, Sinéad Murphy and Yossi Nehushtan.

Who were the people who paid the highest cost of lockdown? This is the question that this conversation focuses on, serving as an urgent reminder of why lockdowns should never be repeated. Dr Borges offers insights into how the decontextualised, top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to handling the pandemic led to an ignorance of local resources, experiences and concerns. The socioeconomic impact on women received minimal attention despite their insecure economic status and higher vulnerability to such crises, and despite local and global voices pointing to the ‘shadow’ pandemic targeting women since the beginning of lockdowns. Challenges of cramped spaces, safety, poverty and ‘double shifts’ were ignored even as large sections of women workers were declared ‘essential’ workers who faced higher risks and earned lower wages. At the same time, the state used high levels of violence in many parts of the world reflecting a shift in the relationship between state power and citizens, especially marginalised groups.

More about the Authors

Aleida Borges

Dr Borges’ research at the Global institute for women’s leadership at King’s College London focuses on social policy, analysing it through a feminist lens. 

University faculty page:

Reva Yunus

Reva Yunus is a Lecturer at the University of York and researches gender issues, poverty, precarity and schooling.

University faculty page:

Order the book here.