COVID-19, Intersectionality, and the Health of Women

Date and Time

– November 4, 2020, 02:00 PM EST

Virtual only.

Time of meeting subject to change. All times are in the Eastern Time zone.

Event Information

Ana Langer, M.D., the director of the Women and Health Initiative (W&HI) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Jewel Gausman, Sc.D., M.H.S., a research associate at the W&HI, will lead a plain-language discussion of topics explored in their commentary article “Sex and Gender Disparities in the COVID-19 Pandemic,” recently published in the Journal of Women’s Health. 

Although fewer women are dying from COVID-19 than men, the speakers posit that this finding may serve to oversimplify the biological, behavioral, social, and systemic factors that may affect differences in disease presentation, progression, and outcomes between women and men. Thus, Drs. Langer and Gausman will discuss the necessity of studying the pandemic and associated policies through a sex-and-gender lens, particularly in considerations of disadvantaged populations and resource-poor communities, where women are especially vulnerable. The lecture will also consider how existing health and social services can support women during the pandemic as well as the need to support, inform, and protect informal caregivers. 

Event Registration

Event Speakers

MUIAna Langer, M.D. 
Director, Women and Health Initiative
Professor of the Practice of Public Health 
Department of Global Health and Population 
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 

Ana Langer, M.D., directs the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Langer is a physician specializing in pediatrics and neonatology, and she is a reproductive health expert. She joined the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in July 2010 as a Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Global Health and Population. Dr. Langer is respected worldwide as a leader in reproductive and maternal health, the translation of evidence into policies and programs, and the improvement of quality of health care for women and families. For more than 30 years, she has been a leading researcher, programmer, and advocate for the improvement of women’s health. Dr. Langer has published extensively on maternal mortality, technical and interpersonal quality of maternal health care, unsafe abortion, contraception, the introduction of evidence-based practices in maternal health services, and strategies to strengthen women’s reproductive rights. Dr. Langer is a member of the NIH Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health (ACRWH).


MUIJewel Gausman, Sc.D., M.H.S. 
Research Associate, Women’s Health Initiative 
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 


Jewel Gausman, Sc.D., M.H.S., joined the Women and Health Initiative (W&HI) in 2017 to lead a study on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Jordan that focuses on Jordanian and Syrian adolescent boys and girls living in host communities. Within the field of sexual and reproductive health, Dr. Gausman’s research interests focus on gender norms, women’s empowerment, and vulnerable 

populations, including refugees and adolescents. Prior to working with the W&HI, Dr. Gausman spent 8 years as a research technical advisor in the Bureau for Global Health in the Office of Population and Reproductive Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she managed a diverse portfolio of research projects focused on the social determinants of sexual and reproductive health, including projects focused on the influence of gender norms among very young adolescents and using social networking approaches to influence demand for and utilization of sexual and reproductive health services.