In the inaugural session of the ORWH series, "Diverse Voices: COVID-19, Intersectionality, and the Health of Women," Ana Langer, M.D., the director of the Women and Health Initiative (W&HI) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Jewel Gausman, Sc.D., M.H.S., a research associate at the W&HI, will lead a plain-language discussion of topics explored in their commentary article “Sex and Gender Disparities in the COVID-19 Pandemic,” recently published in the Journal of Women’s Health.
Although fewer women are dying from COVID-19 than men, the speakers posit that this finding may serve to oversimplify the biological, behavioral, social, and systemic factors that may affect differences in disease presentation, progression, and outcomes between women and men. Thus, Drs. Langer and Gausman will discuss the necessity of studying the pandemic and associated policies through a sex-and-gender lens, particularly in considerations of disadvantaged populations and resource-poor communities, where women are especially vulnerable. The session will also consider how existing health and social services can support women during the pandemic as well as the need to support, inform, and protect informal caregivers.