COVID & Women: Shining a light on gender, inequality and the pandemic

Join us online as we discuss the gendered impacts of the global pandemic for women and the way forward for a gender equal recovery.

Led by Women’s Health East, this forum is for organisations of the Eastern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne (and beyond) who are planning community responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

1:00-3:00pm Thursday 17th September, 2020

Guest speakers:

  • Tanja Kovac, CEO Gender Equity Victoria (GENVIC) – Impacts of COVID-19 on women – an overview.
  • Jane Fisher, Finkel Professor of Global & Women’s Health, Monash University – Impacts of COVID-19 on women’s mental health
  • Richard Denniss, Chief Economist Australia Institute – Gendered approach to economic recovery

A panel discussion will follow to consider what a gender equal recovery could look like, and how we can build that together. There will an opportunity for questions during this time. We will endeavour to answer as many of these in this time. Please submit pre-questions when you register. Guest speaker bio below.

These sessions are organised by Women’s Health East, the women’s health promotion agency for the Eastern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne and supported by City of Manningham.

For further queries and information contact Annette at

Guest Speakers:

Tanja Kovac is an advocate for gender equality and a policy leader with decades of experience working in government, law and the non-profit sector. She is currently CEO to Gender Equity Victoria, Victoria’s peak organisation for women’s health, equality and violence prevention. Prior to this she was Chief of Staff to the late Fiona Richardson MP, Australia’s first family violence prevention minister where she was responsible for delivering family violence reform in the wake of Luke Batty’s death and innovations in gender equality, including creating the Victoria’s first Gender Equality Strategy.

Tanja has extensive experience with print, radio, TV and online media. Her writing has featured in The Age, Daily Telegraph, Crikey, MammaMia and more.

Jane Fisher is an academic clinical and health psychologist, and is Finkel Professor of Global Health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. With colleagues, she completed a recent national survey of the psychological impact of the first month of COVID-19 restrictions. She is the guest presenter on ABC Melbourne Drive each week with Rafael Epstein of Life and Other Catastrophes, a program about experiences and relationships, which has for the past three months enabled wide community discussion about the impacts of the restrictions on peoples’ lives.

Jane will discuss the latest findings from the national Living with COVID-19 Restrictions in Australia survey .

Dr Richard Denniss is the Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute. He is a prominent Australian economist, author and public policy commentator, and a former Associate Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU, Richard was described by Mark Kenny in the Sydney Morning Herald as “a constant thorn in the side of politicians on both sides due to his habit of skewering dodgy economic justifications for policy”. The Australian Financial Review listed Denniss and Ben Oquist of The Australia Institute as equal tenth-place on their ‘Covert Power’ 2018 list of the most powerful people in Australia.

He is a prolific writer with regular columns in the Australian Financial Review and the Guardian as well as writing regular essays for The Monthly. He has written five books including Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough (with Clive Hamilton), An introduction to Australian Public Policy (with Sarah Maddison), Minority policy: rethinking governance when parliament matters (with Brenton Prosser) Econobabble: How to Decode Political Spin and Economic Nonsense, Curing Affluenza: How to Buy Less Stuff and Save the World and the June 2018 Quarterly Essay, Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next.

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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