Lessons From Women's History Month Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

By Jessica Steinberg.

As the world celebrates women throughout March 2020, Mother Nature had a challenging surprise waiting for us. International Women’s Day and the Covid-19 pandemic have connected humanity across all borders and boundaries. While for different reasons, IWD may offer some lessons as we enter an age of social distancing.

Lets start with an IWD perspective. We all know and celebrate females: mothers, daughters, friends, colleagues, teachers, mentors, artists, doctors, scientists, politicians, businesspeople and more. Some of which are on the frontline of the outbreak today. Covid-19 now has a full passport being reported in at least 110 countries, connecting and infecting societies alike.

As this virus goes viral, events, (play) dates, meetings and more are going virtual.

Here’s the reality: concerts are silenced. Athletes have lost their seasons. School is not in session. Supermarkets are busier than the local pub. Toilet paper is in higher demand than roses on Valentines Day.

No, it’s not the apocalypse. Yes, entire communities are entering phases of social outcast. This is when unity must be a priority.

Our humanity connects us, but the virus has exposed us. Hoarding is hurting, not healing anyone or anything. Self-interests are trumping self-isolation requests. Discriminatory behavior (e.g. about wearing face masks and racial slurs) is fuelling the risk of mayhem.

Is this the epitome of humankind? When society is vulnerable to the point of breaking from uncertainty, selfishness must be replaced by selflessness.

Generosity and kindness mirror selfless acts. Consider helping small, local businesses to survive, travel around the web rather than the world and drop off supplies and resources outside for those in isolation. The list of acts is longer than this article, and, by the time you finish reading, more people will benefit from such service to society.

See Also: A European Landscape: The 21st Century's Women In Cannabis - And An Event For Us

The question then becomes, ‘is this a service we are obligated to perform?’ If it’s a duty to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our citizens, is it also our responsibility to protect all of the strangers, street-dwellers and society members that we may never know?

Finding an answer is a process and this fight is ongoing, which is something that IWD teaches us. IWD is not just a day, it is also a reminder to live in a certain way: balanced, equal and respectful. Celebrating diversity and inclusivity is at the core of Women’s History Month.

Takeways From A London Event

This was the running theme on IWD on March 8 at the Ohana Wellness Festival in London, hosted by Ohana a plant-based, CBD skincare company that believes skincare is self care.

Empowering conversations about self care habits, wellness priorities, inclusive experiences, and meaningful engagements captured the day’s aesthetic. Women, men, young and old, came together to create and join a community.

For some, it was a space with open, tolerant dialogue. For others, it was a way to put modern-day life on pause and relax into restoration. This was one of many celebrations for IWD. The common denominator connecting events from London to Tokyo to Lima to Kampala is the power to mobilize.

To put IWD in perspective, people think about women in relation to the females in their life. To put Covid-19 in perspective, think about the elderly you know (grandparents, professors, mentors, etc.). Do you have any friends and family living with diabetes? Do you know colleagues and neighbors that have respiratory issues? Are there people on your social media network that are working in supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.? The spread is exponential, the questions are endless, the mutual connection is almost a guarantee.

As we enter a time of insecurity, our unity must prevail as we support our community. Covid-19 is a novel virus, but inclusivity is not a novel idea. The virus is a wakeup call (and a blessing to the environment).

We are human beings. Let’s distance, but stay connected because it’s our humanity first.

Encuentra este artículo en Español en El Planteo: El Mes de la Mujer Durante la Pandemia de Coronavirus

Jessica is a PhD student at the University of Oxford researching the legal cannabis industry. She is Managing Director of international cannabis consultancy, The Global C, and co-founder of entOURage Network, an organization to empower and connect women in the European cannabis indsutry. Her work brings her to the UN and WHO, and speaks globally about her research and work, as well as the charity that she founded when she was 13 years old, Giveable Giggles.

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted In: coronavirusCovid-19Jessica SteinbergCannabisNewsEducationMarketsGeneral

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