Getting Noticed: The Initial Impacts of Unmasking Gender Inequity

BC Women’s Health Foundation introduces a new report series examining the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s health in BC.

In 2020 our Foundation’s quest to improve the health and well-being of women in BC took on a whole new meaning and urgency. With the COVID-19 pandemic upending lives across the world, women are once again facing greater inequities.

This led to our introduction of a new report series, Unmasking Gender Inequity: examining the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s health in BC. 

The first report launched in November and found that:  

  • Women in BC were the first to be impacted by job losses, to a greater extent, and for longer; women lost 60% more jobs than men in March 2020.
  • As daycare centres and schools closed, caregiving responsibilities fell largely on women’s shoulders, with women losing six times more work hours each week to family responsibilities than men. 
  • Women dominate occupations with a high risk of exposure to COVID-19, roles that are often deemed essential.
  • Frontline support workers are reporting dramatic increases in incidences and severity of gender-based violence since the onset of the pandemic.

Standing alongside our Pillar Partner, Pacific Blue Cross, we leveraged the report to inspire, engage, and embolden our audiences into action. 

The launch of the report garnered over 32 news stories across BC, over 87,000 impressions on social media, and over 2,000 visits to our new unmaskgenderinequity.ca microsite in the first two weeks alone.

We were pleased to have Adrian Dix, BC Minister of Health, recognize the importance of this in the televised November 25th COVID-19 update, reaching 1.5 million people.

“Dr. Henry and I also wish to acknowledge the 16 days to end gender-based violence. And note a report that includes that subject and many others, Unmasking Gender Inequity that was produced by the BC Women’s Health Foundation and Pacific Blue Cross. I encourage people who are interested which I think is all of us – to have a look at that report.” – Adrian Dix, BC Minister of Health

There is no doubt that this report is providing a powerful pathway for business leaders, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to define an equitable economic recovery plan. Through the launch of this series and its subsequent media attention, we have the opportunity to inspire real, tangible change that can help shape public policy that best supports women’s healthcare and women’s health research initiatives. Without the work of the Foundation, made possible by our donors, partners, and allies, the gaps in women’s healthcare equity will never close. 

Today, we are honoured to have our donors alongside us as we continue the journey towards reimagining a recovery that places women – and women’s health – boldly at its centre.

Our work here is not done yet. BC Women’s Health Foundation is pleased to present further findings through Unmasking Gender Inequity: Spotlight on Mental Health. Read more here.


BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. The information shared is intended to educate, inform, and point readers to credible sources. It is not intended to substitute professional medical advice.