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The World Today - COVID-19’s Gender Bias: A Pandemic of Unequal Proportions
12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT
Virtual Event


COVID-19 has affected the day-to-day life of nearly every person in the world, but these effects are not equal and they are highly gendered.

Amid a global economic slowdown, more women have lost their jobs, while those still working are often shouldering greater childcare responsibilities as many schools remain closed. Domestic violence has increased, with many women less able to escape the abuse. Women also have less access to information about COVID-19, from symptoms to treatment, and face greater difficulty accessing medical care.

In this virtual edition of The World Today, Ambassador Kelley Currie, the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, will highlight how the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security works to address the issues at the heart of the gendered effects of COVID-19. She will discuss what might be done to mitigate these immense inequalities, how their work has pivoted to a virtual environment, and what promising policies they hope to promote, in conversation with PWH Deputy Director LaShawn Jefferson.

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Headshot of Ambassador Kelley CurrieAmbassador Kelley E. Currie was appointed Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues by President Trump in December 2019. She serves simultaneously as the U.S. Representative at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She has led the implementation of the 2020 U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security, which focuses on supporting women leaders around the world who make contributions to global security. Prior to her appointment, she led the Department of State’s Office of Global Criminal Justice (2019) and served under Ambassador Nikki Haley as the United States’ Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council and Alternative Representative to the UN General Assembly (2017-2018). Throughout her career in foreign policy, Ambassador Currie has specialized in human rights, political reform, development and humanitarian issues, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. From 2009 until her appointment to the USUN leadership, she served as a Senior Fellow with the Project 2049 Institute. She has held senior policy positions with the Department of State, the U.S. Congress, and several international and non-governmental human rights and humanitarian organizations. Ambassador Currie received a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Headshot of LaShawn JeffersonLaShawn Jefferson is Perry World House’s Deputy Director. She brings to Perry World House over two decades of legal and policy advocacy, strategic planning and communications, and research and writing on women’s international human rights through civil-society organizations and philanthropy. She joined Perry World House after almost seven years at the Ford Foundation, where she worked to advance women’s human rights globally and in the U.S. through field building and investments in the areas of rights advocacy; strategic communications and engagement; intersectional leadership and analysis; research; and capacity building. For fourteen years, she also held several leadership positions at Human Rights Watch, a global human rights organization, where she led their women’s rights research and advocacy work, providing strategic and intellectual guidance to the work on women’s international human rights, crafting and executing long-term advocacy strategies, and representing HRW at the highest level of national and international fora. She is the author of many reports on a variety of issues confronting women around the world, and has written op-eds and articles that have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and The International Herald Tribune. She received a B.A. from Connecticut College and an M.A. in International Relations and Latin American Studies from Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies.