This Friday morning, Erla Hoyos Zuloeta will join women from Malawi, Haiti and Canada to speak about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women and girls and what a feminist recovery would look like around the world.

Erla belongs to the leadership team at Centro Santa Angela and she runs the José Leonardo Ortiz Leadership School, a project funded by Heart-Links donors.

Register here for Women in the Lead: A Tapestry of Stories from the Global South.

“The fact that we are women means that we are impacted differently in any crisis,” Erla says. In the case of the pandemic, “isolation is multiplying the workload for women.” With everybody home, and children out of school, women and girls find they are expected to keep house, take care of all family members and keep up with other responsibilities, such as school work.

Introductions to new friends
Heart-Links volunteer Sheila Horrell takes part in an exchange with Centro Santa Angela members and volunteers. Erla Hoyos Zuloeta is second from the right.

Women and girls are also at greater risk of sexual violence. “The cases of violence have not stopped with the pandemic, with the lockdown,” Erla says. “On the contrary, they have become more prominent. Cases of abuse, of teenage pregnancies, are more evident.” Sexual violence, according to Erla, is itself a pandemic. “We say it is a big monster that really needs many efforts, many doors of entry to be able to contribute to diminish this problem in girls, in women.”

To take this discussion further and exchange views with women in other parts of the world, Erla will join Elida Jeanty, Officer of Development of Rayjon Share Care, and Basimenye Nhlema, Community Health Director for Partners in Health, for Women in the Lead: A Tapestry of Stories from the Global South.

You can join the conversation, too, by registering now. What better way to get ready for International Women’s Day on March 8?

This “fireside chat” organized by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation and hosted by podcaster Safa Shahkhalili, forms part of Tapestry 2030, an eight-part illustration and podcast series on the partnerships needed for gender-transformative and sustainable development. Amanda Schutz illustrated the series.

You can listen to Heart-Links’ episode Leadership Action in Peru, featuring Erla and two of the Leadership School participants, right here.

Women in the Lead: A Tapestry of Stories from the Global South takes place by Zoom on Friday, March 5 at 8 a.m. EST.