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Global Day of Solidarity on 22 May – #StrongerTogether – in response to COVID-19 crisis

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By Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)

You can read the original article on GCAP’s website here.

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted and worsened systemic inequalities. During the lockdown, 80% of urban workers in India have lost their livelihoods, and globally the level of extreme poverty has skyrocketed. People worldwide are facing health problems, loss of income, hunger and violence. Human rights abuses have also worsened, and structural racism in countries such as the US has been thrown into the limelight.

Many of us are working with people in need and demanding governments respond to support the most vulnerable. But this is not enough. We need global solidarity and joint action for those especially affected by the crisis.

This is why we came together on the Global Day of Solidarity on 22 May 2020. Thanks to all who joined! GCAP in collaboration with many other CSOs mobilized people around the world to raise their voices in solidarity with each other and to call on governments to work together at the global level. 

The results are impressive – especially on social media. Using #StrongerTogether in combination with “solidarity” there were at least 6,000 posts which reached 43 million people & 126 million impressions in 100+ countries.

Over 700 organizations have now signed the Joint Civil Society Statement and 12-point plan for governments and the UN on the COVID-19 response at covidcitizenaction.org. Many GCAP National Coalitions have sent letters to their governments based on the joint statement, and the press release was also covered by several media.

GCAP members from Bangladesh to Ghana to Lithuania to Argentina shared their messages on how we can be #StrongerTogether to overcome COVID-19 and also stand together (#IStandWith) with the most vulnerable.

Three GCAP regions highlighted the challenges:

  • LAC: COVID-19 pandemic deepens inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean

Beyond the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very clear that this health emergency has highlighted the profound inequalities in our societies, aggravating the global crises in which we find ourselves. In addition to those already difficult circumstances in the region LAC, we live in a context of many threats and setbacks for civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.

Read more of GCAP LAC’s statement on the region’s challenges that are exacerbated by this health crisis

  • Africa: Women and Girls with Disabilities in the Fight Against COVID-19

“I live with my daughter who helps with selling water on the street. My daughter’s husband who used to support us was involved in an accident and is bedridden, so I am left with only my daughter. Ever since the lockdown started, my daughter cannot go out and sell the water to support us in the house.” Elizabeth Antwiwaa, a visually impaired woman in Kumasi, Ghana

Women and girls with disabilities represent more than half of all persons with disabilities worldwide and almost 20% of all women worldwide. But their needs and rights are largely unmet, clothed in invisibility. These existing gender, age, disability and structural inequalities in public and private environments are being exacerbated by the multifaceted impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Read more in Leave No Woman Behind statement addressing these concerns: Lift the Veil of Invisibility of Women and Girls with Disabilities to Hear Their Voices and Address Their Rights and Needs in the Fight Against COVID-19.

  • Asia: We Are All Vulnerable, But Some More Than Others

Eighty percent of urban workers in India have lost their livelihoods. Nearly half of all households across the country do not have enough money to buy a week’s worth of essentials.

Migrant workers constitute more than 90% of COVID-19 cases in Singapore, as overcrowded dormitories and initial inattention compromised foreign worker health.

The Dalits, groups that encounter recurring prejudice and inequitable treatment due to their work and descent, face discrimination in COVID-19 disaster responses.

GCAP Asia’s statement addresses these and other inequalities related to COVID-19. Released in advance of the 7th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, it calls on leaders to act.

Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) supports people in their struggles for justice and brings individuals and organisations together to challenge the institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty and inequalities. Together, we defend and promote human rights, gender justice, social justice, climate justice and the security needed for the dignity and peace of all. GCAP is a network of over 11,000 civil society organisations organized in 58 National Coalitions and in constituency groups of women, youth and socially-excluded people, among others.

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