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COVID-19 in the UK: where are all the women?

Hosted by LSE Festival: Shaping the Post-COVID World

Online public event


Mandu Reid

Mandu Reid

Bell Ribeiro-Addy

Bell Ribeiro-Addy

Mary-Ann Stephenson

Mary-Ann Stephenson

Dr Clare Wenham

Dr Clare Wenham


Professor Nicola Lacey

Professor Nicola Lacey

Women’s vulnerability must be considered in pandemic preparedness and response.  

We look at the role of UK policymakers in re-establishing the path to a more equal society for men and women in this context and draw comparisons with other countries who are doing well, and who have also fallen shy of the mark.  

While there have been significant advances in gender equality in the past 30 years, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to undo much of this good work in countries across the globe. School closures, lockdowns and reduced access to healthcare are just some of the ways the pandemic is already exaggerating existing gender disparities.  

Meet our speakers and chair

Mandu Reid (@ManduReid) has been Leader of the Women’s Equality Party since April 2019. She is also the party's candidate for the 2021 London mayoral election. Mandu Reid is an LSE graduate and has previously held roles at HM Treasury, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Greater London Authority.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy (@BellRibeiroAddy) is the Labour MP for her home constituency of Streatham. Born and raised in Brixton Hill, Bell is a dedicated feminist, anti-racist and trade unionist who currently sits on the Women & Equalities Committee in Parliament.

Mary-Ann Stephenson (@WomensBudgetGrp) is Director of the Women’s Budget Group. Mary-Ann has worked for women’s equality and human rights for over twenty years as a campaigner, researcher and trainer. She was previously Director of the Fawcett Society and a Commissioner on the Women’s National Commission. 

Clare Wenham (@clarewenham) is Assistant Professor of Global Health Policy at LSE. She specialises in global health security, the politics and policy of pandemic preparedness and outbreak response. She has researched this for over a decade, through influenza, Ebola and Zika. Her research poses questions of global governance, the role of WHO and World Bank, national priorities and innovative financing for pandemic control. More recently she has been examining the role of women in epidemics and associated policy. For COVID-19, Clare is Co-Principal Investigator on a grant from the CIHR and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation analysing the gendered dimensions of the outbreak. 

Nicola Lacey CBE is School Professor of Law, Gender and Social Policy at LSE. She has held a number of visiting appointments, most recently at Harvard Law School and at New York University Law School.  She is an Honorary Fellow of New College Oxford and of University College Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy.

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: Shaping the Post-COVID World running from Monday 1 to Saturday 6 March 2021, with a series of events exploring the direction the world could and should be taking after the crisis.

The Department of Health Policy (@LSEHealthPolicy) trains and inspires people passionate about health by advancing and challenging their understanding of health systems and the social, economic and political contexts in which they operate.

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from COVID-19 in the UK: where are all the women?

A shortcast (20 minute digested version) of this event is available to download at SHORTCAST | COVID-19 in the UK: where are all the women?

A video of this event is available to watch at COVID-19 in the UK: where are all the women?

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

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