5 December 2020

Gender Equity Now

Fuelling equity through education

By Cicely Belle Blain
Photography by Christy Schmid

These are the experiences of women in 2020. The global health crisis is exacerbating gender inequality worldwide.

“Limited gains in gender equality and women’s rights made over the decades are in danger of being rolled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The pandemic has cast a spotlight on the importance of gender equality for the safety, well-being and inclusion of women and girls. For women living in remote and rural communities, geography further compromises their health, safety and financial freedom.

“The gender digital divide in rural areas has magnified women’s and girls’ marginalization, limiting their access to distance education, essential services, digital finance and life-saving information during the crisis,” writes Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women, in her statement for the International Day of Rural Women.

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Headshot of Cicely

Cicely Belle Blain

Editorial Director (they/them)

Cicely Belle is a Black, queer writer, activist and anti-racism consultant originally from London, UK. They are the founder and CEO of Bakau Consulting, a social justice informed equity and inclusion consulting company based in Vancouver, BC where they work with clients across six continents to enhance compassion, respect and a commitment to anti-oppression in a diversity of industries.

As a founder and former organizer of Black Lives Matter Vancouver, Cicely Belle is passionate about liberation work, systems change and radical empathy for a better world. In 2018 and 2020, they were listed as one of Vancouver’s 50 most powerful people and in 2019, as one of BC Business’s 30under30. They are the author of Burning Sugar and an instructor of Executive Leadership at Simon Fraser University.


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