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A (Mostly) Missed Window of Opportunity: Tracking Gender-Responsive COVID-19 Recovery in Germany, Finland, and Canada / Talk by Jennifer Piscopo, Occidental College
From increased care burdens to significant employment loss, women suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. International organizations like the European Union called for gender-sensitive responses, yet feminist advocates and bureaucrats largely failed to influence governments’ COVID-19 recovery plans. Such failure appeared across even disparate cases: Germany has a conservative, male breadwinner welfare regime, and Finland has a social democratic regime with a purportedly feminist government at the helm, but both adopted plans that focused on men-dominated industries and neglected social infrastructure. By contrast, Canada established a federal Early Learning and Child Care system with comprehensive coverage for children aged zero to five. This comparison suggests that welfare regimes and feminist pretensions are insufficient to explain change. In Canada, the executive actually incorporated feminists into the policymaking process.