Eva Longoria, award-winning American actor, producer, director, entrepreneur and philanthropist, voiced her concerns and suggestions on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as global health inequalities experienced by women and girls of colour.
Longoria was a keynote speaker at the virtual World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2020 Tuesday.
Addressing the global community of healthcare experts and policy makers, she said: “WISH enables the kind of global co-operation on pressing health issues that we desperately need right now, as we confront a pandemic and a changing climate that have disproportionately impacted women and people of colour.”
“The virus has left people to die, families to mourn and it has turned the basic social interactions into political statements. This invisible threat has left visible scars on our societies,” she highlighted.
Longoria, who has been at the forefront of the fight for the rights of Latinas and women of colour, said: “The pandemic has been able to capitialise on the large amount of inequalities that were prevalent in our society for long and for the marginalised people all over the world."
“The pandemic has not just created a medical crisis but also an economic crisis, an educational crisis and a social crisis. In this time of uncertainties, our children are absorbing the stress of going through these difficult times. It has a great impact on our children and their mental health that might linger for long,” she added.
During her career, Longoria has devoted extensive time and energy to prioritising mental health among young Latina women, speaking out on such issues as self-harm, anxiety and depression. Recently, she highlighted the importance of nurturing women’s mental health in the current climate and has voiced her concern that the coronavirus pandemic has been harder for women, who tend to have multiple responsibilities.
“Every one of us has a role to play in response to Covid-19. Covid-19 has posed and increased interpersonal challenges for Latina women and women of colour. We have to meet the exhaustive needs of the global family as we live in a global community. We have to emerge from this pandemic stronger,” she urged.
Highlighting the need for better mental health support, the actor said even before the pandemic, one in four among the marginalised people was found having some sort of mental agony. "Mental health support must be made a priority. Failing to act on these concerns puts us on a way that fails in mental health and antipoverty efforts.”
"The need of the hour is collaboration in facing the pandemic as well as climate change. This can only be done by being united. In our commitment to fight against Covid-19, the commitment to stand with those who fight for their voices to be heard and the commitment to tackle the greatest challenges that our world faces today, we need to stay united,” she added.