Ongoing updates on Criterion’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
GBV and COVID-19: Financing the Response to a Pandemic within a Pandemic on Thursdays, starting on April 16th at 9pm EDT. Register here.
Criterion’s Response to COVID-19: Financing a More Just and Equitable Recovery
As the impact of COVID-19 is felt throughout the world, our hearts are heavy with the knowledge that women and marginalized communities are being hit the hardest and that existing inequalities are being exacerbated. Individuals and small businesses that struggled to access appropriate capital before the crisis are in an even more precarious situation now. Gender-based violence is on the rise as victims of domestic abuse are quarantined at home with their abusers. The list, unfortunately, goes on. There is no more urgent time to ensure that financing for the COVID-19 response and recovery is designed with gender equality and social justice at its core.
Criterion is responding through our programs as we push policy makers and financial institutions to integrate gender equality and social justice into their COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
• In partnership with the GenderSmart Investing Summit, we are coordinating the activities of leaders to ensure the field of gender lens investing is doing everything possible to advance gender and social equity through COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
• We are working with our government partners in Australia and Canada to share ideas and learnings about analyzing power dynamics in developing solutions to COVID-19. As part of this, we are informing how gender and power perspectives can be integrated in COVID-19 responses aimed to support the economic recovery of microbusinesses and small- to medium-sized enterprises in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
• With UNICEF, we are shaping how investors across asset classes are addressing gender-based violence in emergency settings, including the global COVID-19 emergency.
• We are influencing how blended finance infrastructure investments address gender-based violence, with a focus on emergency settings, through a white paper produced in partnership with Convergence Blended Finance and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
• We are engaging local congregations and faith-based investors as part of our place-based strategy in Milwaukee, WI to expand what is seen as possible for financing a more just, equitable, and community-oriented recovery.
We invite you to participate in convenings of our ecosystem as we mobilize leaders in gender lens investing and innovative finance to take part in specific response and recovery initiatives.
• Thursday, April 16th will be the first in a series of virtual meetings where we welcome all our network to implement specific ideas on how finance can respond to GBV in emergency settings, including the current global crisis. This first session will be an orientation. These design sessions will continue every Thursday for the next five weeks with a focus on different types of financing, from sovereign debt to direct investments in financial technology.
• This coming Friday, April 17, we are convening labor organizations to discuss the investment risks of unsafe labor practices, which have been brought to the forefront by the pandemic, and the role investors can play in advancing worker rights and safety. We invite anyone who works on related issues to join us.
• We’ll be releasing more invitations in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned for updates.
We’re leveraging our influence to shape the narrative and activities of social finance and ensure that gender and social justice remain priorities.
• We are ramping up our communications to amplify and broaden the influence of our work, such as our recent blog with UNICEF on how finance can address the pandemic of gender-based violence in emergency settings, such as the current COVID-19 crisis.
• We are influencing other convenings to ensure that when impact investing and innovative finance communities come together to discuss the COVID-19 response, they are paying attention to gender and power and amplifying the voices of impacted communities.
In the midst of this crisis, we have an opening where financial and economic systems are being rewritten. We cannot let the status quo prevail. The actions we take today will determine whether justice and equality will be engrained in the future that is currently being rebuilt.
Support Our Work
We invite you to join our efforts.
In these ever-changing and unpredictable times, we look to our values of grace, hospitality, and the power of invitation to embrace emerging possibilities and nurture the relationships of our partners, new and old.
There are many ways to engage with the work of Criterion Institute.
• Support our team as we work to ensure COVID-19 responses are equitable and just by making a tax-deductible donation
• Sign up to volunteer your time and expertise
• Follow our work and opportunities to engage on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
We are grateful for your continued support and look forward to staying connected as we get through this together.