tv Global Questions BBC News July 13, 2020 1:30am-2:01am BST
florida has posted a rise of more than 15, 000 virus cases — its biggest daily increase to date. it comes a day after walt disney world reopened and is around a quarter of all us daily infections, even though florida has just 7% of the country's population. poland's incumbent president andrzej duda holds a slim lead in the country's presidential election, according to an exit poll. mr duda, an ally of the ruling nationalist law and justice party, has 50.8% of the vote. that's just 1.6% ahead of warsaw mayor rafal trzaskowski. a fire has broken out on a us navy amphibious assault warship moored at san diego naval base, injuring at least eighteen sailors. an explosion was reported on board the uss bonhomme richard after the fire started. the fire department said it may take days before the flames are fully extinguished. now on bbc news, audiences from around the world
question their leaders on global issues. hello, and welcome to london for this edition of global questions with me, zeinab badawi. has the coronavirus pandemic wiped out years of progress on gender equality? although men are more prone to die of the disease, it's women who are bearing the brunt economically and socially. theirjobs are more likely to disappear in the slowdown and caring for families falls disproportionately on their shoulders. so, that's global questions: coronavirus, a step back for women? well, i'm now inside the bbc‘s headquarters in central london. and as always to bring you this edition of global questions, so, that's global questions: coronavirus, a step back for women? well, i'm now inside the bbc‘s headquarters in central london.
and as always to bring you this edition of global questions, our audience members will be posing questions from all over the world, and our two panellists alljoin us via video link. so, let me tell you who's in the hot seat this week giving the answers. tina tchen is ceo of the us—based organisation time's up, which advocates for safer and fairer work conditions for women. she was an aide to president 0bama and also became chief of staff to michelle 0bama. and alexandra shulman is a british journalist, writer and commentator. she stepped down as editor in chief of british vogue in 2017 after 25 years in the job, making her the longest—serving editor in the history of the magazine. her latest book clothes and other things that matter, has just been published. welcome to you both, and also to my people who are asking the questions. a solitary round of applause from me. remember, you too can join the conversation. it's #bbc globalquestions. let's get down to our
first question. it is from sanjana in bangalore india. sanjana. hi, there. my question is, so, the pandemic has caused quite a bit of uproar in the world and stuff like that. women have obviously had this role as the assumed caretaker for quite some time. but, how do you think the pandemic and this assumed role is going to affect gender equality and leadership opportunities in the workplace? right, well. a big opening question there for you to ponder on. tina. well, you know, it's done two things. i think they are counter to each other. one is for the first time, everyone has seen what women do. the hidden work and the challenges that we have had and have all worked on, balancing work at home, caring for children, being the essential front line workers, in the united states, 80% of front line workers are women.
that's now visible for everybody to see. but on the flip side, now we've got huge challenges. what is going to happen, for example, to women in the workplace when schools don't open? we're having a big debate at this moment in the united states about what do you do about opening schools in the fall. and while we want everyone to be safe, what will it mean for women in the workplace when they can't balance, when they can't afford childcare or we don't have childcare centres open? it is a huge problem and i think there are a lot of concerns that there are a lot of women who may wind up having to drop out of the workforce, which would be a big setback for us. we've made tremendous gains in the participation of women in the employment sector in the united states. and that could get rolled back in the coming months. alexander shulman, i want to put to you a quote before you answer that question. cherie blair, the wife of the former prime minister tony blair, said recently that he still considers his work more important than doing the chores. it created quite a bit
of a stir, didn't it, here? do you think that men do think their work is more important than women? well, to be fair, i think it depends on the couple. i mean, sometimes it's clear that the woman is the breadwinner and, in fact, in my life, i've often worked with women who are the sole breadwinners. so, i think it does depend, you know, what the roles are. but if you're pretty well equal, it will naturally seem to fall to the woman to take up the slack. and i agree with tina. what's rather wonderful, in a way, in a not very wonderful situation, is that it's become very obvious on a kind of micro level that everyone at home has seen what there is to be done and how much women have to do. and i suspect that that will have lasting consequences. but more complicated, of course,
is going to be the question that more women have actually been made unemployed during this because many more of them are part—time workers. so, that's going to have ramifications when it comes to actually trying to get their careers back on track. all right, thank you. tina, i just want to put that quote you from cherie blair, which created quite a bit of a stir. the wife of the former british prime minister tony blair, who said recently that he still thinks that his work is more important than doing the chores. he said he's not lifted a finger, really, since 1997. do you think that would resonate with michelle 0bama ? laughs. you know, it might. i don't want to ever speak for her. although i suspect she's not one to let that go without a conversation at home. and i think she talks about that in her book as well, becoming, about her having to balance, especially when president 0bama went on the road as state legislator and all of a sudden she was left at home with two little babies.
you know, she speaks pretty openly, they went to marriage counselling to deal with that. and i think you see a lot of that. there are tensions rising with everybody at home. you know, people need to work that out. and then i often think, because i am a single mum, i was a single working mum my whole life. you know, there's the other aspect of working women, you know, who don't have a partner at home who have to balance these issues. but i agree, we still are in a culture where the societal norm is men's work has value, that;s why they get paid more than women, right? and women's work does not. and there's a huge amount of unpaid work that women do to really make our homes work, to make our economy work, that has always gone unrecognised. let's go to edinburgh in scotland now, to anne. what is your question, anne? what more needs to be done to give workers more flexibility, especially around childcare issues? all right, alexander shulman, like tina, you have been a single mother, holding down a very important job whilst raising a family.
how do you answer that question? well, there are certain measures, actually. i remember when i was an employer, you certainly had to have a good reason not to allow people flexibility and again, being a bit kind of pollyanna—ish and optimistic, i would say the fact that we have had to learn that we can work from home in a pretty effective way probably will be a good thing. we're all having the same experience, spending 24/7 doing this kind of thing on zoom and on e—mails and everything, and i actually think one of the issues around it is that thing of when you're working at home, where are the kind of defining lines? where are the borders? because, in fact, it is very, very intrusive.
and for women in particular who arejuggling not necessarily their kids at school but actually kids in the same place and trying to work from home. one question which is interesting is that flexible working doesn't necessarily mean that working from home is the best option for you as the worker. tina, do you agree with alex shulman there? well, yes. i think, you know, we have been fighting for flexible work schedules for years and we're always told that working from home as to how to manage. and, obviously, now as everybody finds, you can manage it. but there are pitfalls that i worry about and things that especially may affect women, affect low—wage women. not everybody has the wi—fi capability. if you're an employer, we actually put out a time's up guide for equity inclusion during crisis about a month ago. and it was the kind of things we need employers to think about it, when you are working from home. ok, let's go to dakar, the capital of bangladesh, to matthew. what is your question, matthew?
in this situation, we have seen that women are getting trapped living with their violent partners in quarantine. my question is, in this situation, how can women be better protected from domestic violence? this is a very, very serious matter. and, in fact, i have to say, on social media, we have had so many points raised about the incidents of domestic abuse, men beating up their partners, also their daughters. i mean, really, the united nations estimates that on average, the increase in domestic abuse has been about 20% — in some countries, much, much higher. so, tina, what can be done to protect women? well, it's a very serious problem and i thank you for raising it because we need to keep that issue front and centre. in the united states, our national domestic violence hotline has seen a dramatic
increase, you know, as well. and it is something we are telling employers you need to pay attention to, you know, for your employees. you need to be watching for signs of when someone looks like they are under stress. you need to make available, you know, assistance programmes. and ways in which women can get themselves —— we need to help fund domestic violence shelters and ways in which women can get themselves and their children into a safe space. those shelters are crying out for help right now and they need to provide their services in covid—safe ways as well, so that decreases the capacity in shelters, so we need to increase those. we need to put awareness of this issue front and centre and making sure employers, in addition to families themselves, having to deal with this issue is critical. alexandra? i think that obviously the lockdown and being shut into a smaller environment with somebody who is abusive is obviously the most terrifying idea. and i think there is no easy solution to this,
this is an ongoing problem, but one of the things that i think is very important is that anybody who is vulnerable to this abuse is being given a kind of list of coping mechanisms for it. and there are certain things that you can do about finding ways that you can actually communicate, for instance, rather than just being on your mobile phone, when obviously it can be very closed in your mobile phone, i mean, everyone can hear what yo're saying, you don't necessarily have access to a computer. and i think that to a vulnerable women to the list of things that can be done is, at this point, very important, as well, of course, as making sure that we really place a priority on financing all of the refuges which is difficult at this point when everybody's asking for money. all right, well, kind of related
a little bit to what we have just been discussing, let's go to sydney, australia, and keanu de souza. what your question? my question is, how can we help women in their lives with the emotional support that they need at this time? right, alexander shulman, another how question, and as you said, resources are tight because everybody and everything is crying out for more. but there is a lot of mental stress and emotional stress for women, particularly during this pandemic. yeah, i was curious to know, did you mean on a personal level? is that what you were asking? yeah, i was asking on a level of i think it's this kind of period of time which is probably impacting, you know, mothers, daughters, just women in our communities globally. and i think sometimes we can kind
of forget more or less it creates this undue pressure on them, kind of like being the nurturers of our society. so, that is why i kind of framed that question like, what can we do, as sons or fathers orjust people, or families, globally, to kind of ensure that the women in their lives are ok? well, i would say on a very personal level, it would be recognising what the women around you are doing and really making a point of appreciating it and recognising it because i think, you know, everyone knows that we have to do what we have to do to get through this, and i think it is not really about gender here, i think it is about everybody having to appreciate the contribution that we are all making. if you are a son or if you are a partner or if you are an employer and you're a man, i think
to recognise that what the women in your life are contributing actually goes a long way. as well, obviously, as trying to make sure that they aren't getting the lion's share. but i have to say, i think, realistically, you know, that if you're in a domestic environment and a home, there is a kind of level where, as the woman, you are going, there just are certain things you are just going to end up doing. so, you need to make sure... the guys need to make sure they are picking up the slack in other ways. let's come to you, tina. what would you say to keanu? well, i would add... first of all, i appreciate the question, as a mum of a son probably about your age, i really love that you're asking the question. but i would add on to what alexandra said that in addition to noticing and paying attention to what the women in your lives are doing is to pitch in. you know, the one opportunity here in this crisis is to actually fundamentally reorient how work is divided at home. right?
to actually have men step up and say, i am going to do the dishes half the time, i am going to take on half of the child care for these days of the week. i mean, really — and then keep doing it when the world opens back up. i mean, that could be the opportunity here, is that we restructure these relationships that have existed for so long. your generation is the generation that could do it, because you are already asking this question. and i think, let's notjust do it for this moment in the pandemic, let's reorient the distribution of this unpaid work that is so essential to keeping children raised and ourfamily going and our economy going. let's fundamentally make it fair and divide the work better. let's go to our next question and that is evan kapasakis in dubai in united arab emirates. your question please, evan. as a result of lockdown measures, a rise in unpaid work has been
burdened onto adolescent women more so than their male counterparts. this, coupled with the difficulty of learning from home, if that opportunity is even there, do you see female student dropout rates rising? and if so, how can governments and society combat this? yes, that's a question, actually, that was reflected in a lot of the messages that we got online as well, about knocking back women, back to the ‘50s, and so on, in terms of their rights to education and so on. so i think that's you first, tina. we had a crisis in adolescent girls‘ education before the pandemic. it is something that mrs 0bama and i worked a lot on — getting adolescent girls educated. before the crisis, it was estimated there were 98 million adolescent girls around the world who were not in school because they, to your point, they were more valuable as workers at home, you know, doing the unpaid labour at home or being farmed out to do paid labour or to child marriage for theirfamilies.
and that's a crisis, and i am deeply concerned, as the question reflects about how the crisis has added to that. here's the thing — if we don't educate these adolescent girls, it's not just they and their families that will suffer, you know, research over and over again from the world bank, from financial institutions around the world, demonstrate that one of the best ways to raise the gdp of countries, to lift whole nations out of poverty is to educate their girls, is to get their girls educated, get them into the economy, and, you know, we are really suffering as a whole if we do not pay attention to what's happening to adolescent girls. alexandra, what is your response to that? well, interestingly, in the uk, we actually have more young women in higher education than we do men at the moment so we have made really quite considerable gains in that direction.
and i would be very, very keen to see that the ground that's been covered isn't lost by this, and i think we have to do everything we possibly can, to be honest, to make sure that everybody gets back into education. i mean, i'm not very keen on thinking that it's more important for women than for men. i think it's equally important that all of them get the education that... unfortunately, i think for the next year or so, i think there are going to be ups and downs and gaps so it is behoven on all societies to do everything they can to kind of keep it up.
you raise an interesting point, alexandra, which has come in on social media to us which is the negative impact of the covid—19 pandemic, somebody asked, isn't necessarily a gender thing, it'sjust something which affects people in lower income groups and so on so it is notjust something which affects gender. do you think that perhaps we are making too much of the negative impact on gender equality? or do you think that this kind of conversation we're having entirelyjustified? i think it is always worth having a conversation about what can be done to improve women's lots and we know that even in things like pay parity and equal opportunities, there isn't equality at the moment. so i'm certainly not saying that this is a pointless conversation, but i think when it comes to the effects of coronavirus, you know, it's an illness, actually, that is affecting men worse than women for a start. i mean, you are much more likely to die, as a man, with covid—19, than you are as a woman. so, i would not like it to turn it into something where we only look at how women can be helped and not
look at the whole of society. 0k. thank you for that. evan kapasakis in dubai, do you want to come back briefly on what you've heard our panellists say? yes, i agree with what both of them said. i think reforming the way that we perceive education is the way to get past this. right, 0k, thank you very much indeed. 0k, we are going to go to toronto in canada to suzanne firth for her question. so, suzanne, what would you like to ask alexandra and tina? thank you. what opportunities has the covid—19 challenge uncovered for women around the world? alexandra? well, i like the idea of thinking of opportunities, because it's not often that we actually think about opportunities at this point. i guess what i feel is that it is an opportunity for women's roles to gain greater appreciation, actually, and given
how many are in the care services, i hope that not only will they be actually more appreciated but better remunerated, which is a big issue. i mean, in this country, and i'm not clear about other countries but, you know, the low pay in things like the social care services, where the majority of carers are women, is so appalling, and i hope that covid—19 will actually be an opportunity for everyone to reassess the value of what women in these sectors are doing. all right. tina? the opportunity now, uniquely, is to imagine a much fairer foundation. you know, what can we really do to break down the long—standing structures in our workplaces that have, you know, kept women back, have kept people of colour back, lg btq, disabled workers? can we reimagine policies? here in the united states, unlike the uk and some of the other
countries around the world represented, we don't have a national paid sick leave policy. we don't have a national paid family leave policy. we need to reimagine those structures and to alexandra's point, figure out who is the essential worker? and who was not that essential? the head of the banks? not as essential at this moment. the people who have been picking our food in the field? and stacking the grocery shelves and cleaning up the hospitals to make sure they are clean, and providing that nursing care? they have been essential, so can we reimagine our pay scales that really values essential work in the way that we want it to? we have all these tv commercials celebrating, right, our essential workers, we're banging our pots and pans, but let's also put our money where that show of support is and really try to build a better economy, you know, a better economy for everybody. i think that's the real opportunity. we can make transformational change if we are really serious about it.
we are working on it at time's up, to make sure women are really included and can fully participate in a much fairer economy for everyone. there's also the point, i mean, we have had again on social media several people making the point that a lot of the countries that have done well in their response to the pandemic happen to be led by women? you know, angela merkel in germany, jacinda ardern, for instance, in new zealand, tsai ing—wen in taiwan. and so on and so forth. i am reminded by what christine lagarde, the president of the european central bank said recently at a united nations meeting, that women make good leaders because they have the emotional intelligence. so, do you think, tina, that the plaudits women have received for their leadership roles during the pandemic may actually say, actually, we want to see more women in positions of power right across the sectors? could that be a real
opportunity that emerges? well, i hope so. i'm smiling broadly because here in the united states we actually have the examples where the cities that have done better are the ones led by women, and especially by black women. here in chicago, mayor lori lightfoot, mayor keisha lance bottoms in atlanta, mayor muriel bowser in dc. you know, it is the women mayors, in addition to the women leaders of countries that are doing the right thing. they are listening to science, they are staying true to this, they are reacting as mothers and they are bringing that instinct into caring for their cities and their countries, and, you know, i do think it is an example to set for the world on what women's leadership can do and mean for all of us. alexandra? women, i do generally think, are better at looking at the detail of things, that they are used to having to look
at the sort of micro—dailyness of the world, just in our everyday lives, and i think that really helps in a situation like this where it is not about, like with our government, big statements, big, blustering male statements, it's actually really looking at, hang on, what does this little detail mean that can make all the difference? so, yeah, i think it shows women up for being brilliant. well, we'll end on that brilliant note there! thank you very much indeed alexandra shulman and tina tchen there in chicago. that's all from this edition from global questions: coronavirus — a step back for women? well, you've heard the arguments from our questioners and also our panellists. remember, we are the programme that brings you the trend lines behind the headlines. from me, zeinab badawi and the rest of the global questions team, till the next time, goodbye.
hello there. despite the chilly start of sunday morning, temperatures reached 25 celsius in the south—east. it was a warmer day for most with an abundance of sunshine but for the next few days we are introducing more cloud and it will therefore feel cooler and there will be some rain. that's been moving in through sunday evening and overnight on these set of weather fronts, a fair breeze as well blowing in the north. so those weather fronts introduce more cloud so it won't be as chilly first thing this morning. a little bit of mistiness in the south, here we hold onto sunshine, certainly through the morning and the cloud thickens in the afternoon. as that weather front slips south, we will see some clearance further north in terms of brighter drier weather but, still, with some heavy showers around particularly in the north—west of scotland, lengthier sunny spells further south and east and still quite warm. some brightness for northern ireland but you can see that cloud filtering its way southwards although the rain
holding off on the south—east most likely until late afternoon, early evening. and there could be a few heavy bursts across the welsh mountains before it slowly clears away through monday night and into the start of tuesday. behind, a north—westerly breeze. plenty of showers and the next weather system in the wings. again, for most of us it is reasonably mild. just an awful lot of cloud as we see through the day ahead, sitting on the hills, giving a little bit of misty murky weather. as i say, that weather system is clearing away and we have high pressure starting to build into those weather fronts. so as they do come in during the course of tuesday, they will gradually weaken. still quite a peppering of showers in the north and the cloud and rain just dragging its heels in the south first thing and then this rain comes into northern ireland before the end of play. but for many, a dry—ish day with just a few showers around, feeling a bit cooler because we have a north—westerly breeze. as i say then, that weather system comes into the ridge of high pressure, so it will be a weakening feature by the time we reach wednesday under the influence of high pressure, so not a lot of rain
left on it. but a lot of cloud. and it will still have a lot of cloud with it on thursday before the high pressure starts to take hold later in the week. so potentially quite a cloudy day for most on wednesday with drizzly rain around, drying up gradually towards the end of the week and becoming very warm, particularly in the south, as we go into the weekend. one to watch. bye— bye.
this is bbc news: i'm james reynolds with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. a day after disney world reopens, florida records the biggest number of new coronavirus cases in the united states. a result too close to call in poland's crucial presidential election. the incumbent andrzej duda edges slightly ahead. emergency crews tackle a massive fire on a navy warship docked in san diego. and we'll bring you the story of the lost sons of darfur — how cousins who escaped genocide for a better life — are now separated by