Striving for Gender Equity in Post-Pandemic Rebuilding

Dr Holly Birkett shares her experience of the Salzburg Global Seminar on Health and Economic Well-being: Gender Equity in Post-Pandemic Rebuilding.

A masked woman shopping in bakery

Photo by Laura James

In October 2023, I participated in the Health and Economic Well-being: Gender Equity in Post-Pandemic Rebuilding seminar, hosted by the Salzburg Global Seminar with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The gathering brought together 60 individuals representing a wide spectrum of sectors globally. Our mission was to create and lead initiatives to promote gender equity. One of the many impressive outputs form this event have been the Salzburg Statement on the Value of Care and Caregiving. We were led by Stefania Ilinca, Technical advisor for long-term care at WHO Europe, and Hania Sholkamy, Co-chair of the Care Work Taskforce of the National Council for Women of Egypt.

Through our discussions we identified new ways of recognizing, valuing, and supporting caregivers while promoting the fairness, sustainability, and resilience of care systems. Our statement launched on the UN first International Day of Care and Support, 29th October 2023, and reflects our global collective call to action for new policies and attitudes to radically change our global approach to care.

Our recommendations promote solidarity and compassion as essential pillars of the caring system, prioritise increasing the health and wellbeing of individuals throughout the life course, emphasises the importance of contributing to economic growth and productive activities, and aims to strengthen social cohesion and nurturing relationships.

"In the face of global ageing and persistent social inequities, the Salzburg Global Statement on the Value of Care and Caregiving is a paramount call to action. The role of care and caregiving has long been underrecognized, but it is truly the foundation upon which societies are built. We’re proud of this work and look forward to supporting this statement to be more than an expression of intent, but a commitment to shape a more compassionate and equitable future for all”, stated Mary Helen Pombo, Salzburg Global’s Program Director for Health.

As one of the initial signatories to this statement, I am honoured to be part of a global movement dedicated to creating policies that will help us achieve this vision.

If you or your organisation would like to collaborate to amplify this Statement and its mission, send an email to Mary Helen Pombo, Program Director for health at Salzburg Global at