Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality, aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Its targets encompass ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere; eliminating violence against women and girls; recognizing and valuing unpaid care and domestic work; ensuring women’s participation and equal opportunities for political, economic, and public leadership; and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
While the scope of inequality that SDG5 seeks to address is wide-ranging, there is a glaring omission in the very description of SDG 5: while it aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, it fails to explicitly acknowledge the inequities that gender-diverse individuals and sexual minorities experience on the basis of their social identities. Further, it does not explicitly acknowledge intersectionality, and how sexism interacts and intersects with other forms of oppression like racism, homophobia, and classism, to produce different lived experiences of inequality.
In this episode of Healthy Cities in the SDG Era, Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero speaks with two researchers that are working to improve the health and well-being of women and gender-diverse individuals with equity and intersectionality at the forefront.
Dr. Lori Ross is an Associate Professor in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Lori is also the leader of the Re:searching for LGBTQ Health Team. Lori uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches in her research work, with a strong focus on integrating the principles of community-based research. Much of her research focuses on understanding the mental health and service needs of marginalized populations including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+) people, in order to improve access to services for these communities.
Sireesha Bobbili is a PhD candidate in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, U of T. She formerly worked as a Project Manager at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where she led projects focusing on improving mental health systems, both locally and abroad, to increase access for vulnerable and marginalized populations. Sireesha conducts global health research regarding mental health and substance use, violence against women, and public health policy.
CREDITS: This podcast is co-hosted by Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero, Director of the Centre for Global Health, and Ophelia Michaelides, Manager of the Centre for Global Health, at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and produced by Elizabeth Loftus. Audio editing is by Anwaar Baobeid. Music is produced by Julien Fortier and Patrick May. It is made with the support of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:00:08] Hello, I'm Erica Di Ruggiero. And this is Healthy Cities in the Era, a podcast about the Sustainable Development Goals and how research conducted by faculty and students at the University of Toronto is helping to achieve them. In this episode, we'll look into SDG five Gender Equality, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. SDG five targets encompasses ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere, eliminating violence against women and girls, recognizing and valuing unpaid care and domestic work, and ensuring women's participation and equal opportunities for political, economic and public leadership, as well as ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Globally, the COVID 19 pandemic has laid bare many social inequities, with women and racialized communities hit especially hard. According to the Feminist Economic Recovery Plan, 56% of women's workers in Canada are in what we call the five C's carrying, cashiering, catering, cleaning and clerical functions compared to 17% of men, and thus are disproportionately at increased risk of exposure to COVID 19. The pandemic has had other effects on women and gender diverse individuals, including a sobering increase in violence against women, which has been referred to by the UN women as the shadow pandemic. A recent survey conducted by the Canadian Women's Foundation in March 2020 found that of 120 service providers who focus on women, girls, trans and non-binary individuals, about 80% were concerned about their ability to continue offering vital community based services. As we'll discuss in the first part of this episode, while the scope of inequality that SDG five seeks to address has wide ranging, there is a glaring omission in the very description of SDG five. While it aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, it fails to explicitly acknowledge the inequities that gender diverse individuals and sexual minorities experience on the basis of their social identities. Further, it doesn't explicitly acknowledge intersectionality and how gender inequality is experienced differently as sexism interacts and intersects with other forms of oppression like racism, homophobia and classicism to produce different lived experiences of inequality. In the second part of this episode, we will discuss how historical and cultural contexts affect global efforts to achieve gender equality, as well as the challenges that exist with the implementation of policy to address violence against women. This episode's discussion will focus on the importance of explicitly acknowledging gender diverse and sexually minority groups in the SDGs on the policy and governmental responses needed in order to get back on track to achieving gender equity both during and beyond the COVID 19 pandemic, and also on the importance of community-led work in truly addressing gender inequities.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:03:23] I'm delighted to welcome to the program Dr. Lori Ross, who is an associate professor in the Social and Behavioral Health Sciences Division of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Laurie is also the leader of researching for LGBTQ health team. Laurie uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches in her research work, with a strong focus on integrating the principles of community-based research. And much of her research focuses on understanding the mental health and service needs of marginalized populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and two-spirit people in order to truly improve access to services for these communities. We are delighted to have Lori here to comment on this goal and its complexity, but also how well it addresses or not LGBTQ to plus people. So maybe you can start there. Lori Why do you think we should explicitly consider LGBTQ two plus communities in an effort to achieve gender equality?
Lori Ross [00:04:28] Yeah. Thank you so much for inviting me to have an opportunity to think about this. And in in preparing for this, I had the opportunity to read a little bit about what other folks have had to say about SDG five and to us LGBTQ communities. And, and really other folks before me have have offered this critique that there is a lack of explicit acknowledgment of sexual orientation and gender identity in SD five. And so I, as others have done, would flag that as a limitation, given that we know that there are very significant disparities in terms of health, in terms of economics, in you know, a wide range of other factors that contribute to well-being that are associated with gender identity. And so in particular, thinking about the health and well-being of the transgender, nonbinary and other gender diverse folks where we know there are very significant health disparities here in Canada and elsewhere. So in SDG five, that gender is definitely conceptualized as differentiation between women and men and boys and girls, and there's no acknowledgment at all of gender identities outside of that binary, which is where I would argue we see the most significant inequalities really is when we're looking at the experiences of trans folks. The other issue is that the way um... the way SDG five is worded really homogenizes the category of women with this emphasis on women as compared to men and girls as compared to boys. It's very homogenizing. And so what that means is that it lacks the nuance that we need in really understanding gender inequality, because whether we're talking about sexual orientation or we're talking about race or class or disability, we know that all women don't experience gender inequality in the same ways or to the same magnitude, that sexism interacts and intersects with other forms of oppression like homophobia, heterosexism, like racism, like classism and able ism to produce different kinds of experiences of inequality for different folks who [...] who might be defined as women. So I think that's a really significant and important limitation to consider when thinking about SDG five.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:07:03] Well, I really appreciate that critique. I mean, I think it it really underscores the importance of how gender intersects with other social locations and the need to really think through those different intersections when we're thinking about how health inequalities manifest for different people. So I know you're a leading scholar in this area, and this is one of the main reasons we have invited you on the program. Can you draw on some examples from your own research about how the health of LGBTQ2 plus communities are impacted? Drawing on examples you're doing here in Canada?
Lori Ross [00:07:39] Sure. Yeah. Well, I've had the pleasure of doing research work together with two other LGBT communities for some time now. And so over the course of that work, we've had the opportunity to look at a wide range of health outcomes within different subgroups within the to US LGBTQ umbrella. Mostly here in Ontario with a provincial scope. And certainly across the board, we see disparities in terms of health. And more recently in work that I've been doing, looking at poverty, we see disparities in economic outcomes as well, maybe just for today's discussion alone and in particular on the bisexual community, because that. One group that is very under-researched where my team has done particular work. And it's a really significant gap in the literature because we know that actually bisexual people make up the majority of sexual minority people. So that is there are more bisexuals than there are lesbian and gay individuals. And yet there is much less research really that looks at health of bisexual communities. The other thing that's really important and really striking is that bisexual people have the poorest health outcomes of all other sexual orientation groups. So when we make explicit comparisons between bisexual people and lesbians and gay men, we consistently see poor health outcomes for bisexuals really across a broad range of health outcomes. And that's really pertinent to our discussion here, particularly because that difference is especially pronounced in women. So bisexual women have significantly poorer mental health outcomes than do lesbians, than do heterosexual. So. So the data typically are a gradient. We see worse outcomes among bisexuals, best outcomes among heterosexual women and lesbians are somewhere in the middle. So there's this really consistent pattern that we see and, um, and, and the real need to kind of understand that and think about how to, how to address that in health systems. Because we also find across our research that sexual and gender minority people have a much more difficult time accessing health care that meets their needs. So there are definitely barriers for people in terms of getting care that would address those health disparities, particularly in our work. We've looked at that in relation to mental health and we find that that sexual and gender minority people are less likely to get their health care needs met. But again, looking back to what I was saying at the beginning, that that's also very intersectional. So for example, in some of our work where we've centered poverty, we find that the group that has the hardest time getting their mental health care needs met is the low income to us LGBTQ people. And that that group has amplified challenges in terms of accessing mental health care relative both to to us LGBTQ people who are not low income, as well as to heterosexual people who are not low income. So those intersections are so important to understand and consider.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:10:44] Yeah, no, I think you raised some really excellent points around the challenges of not paying attention to different groups that may otherwise be homogenized under one general category, and they need to really unpack their differential experiences. I, I think your research really speaks to also some of the policy gaps that we're probably not only seeing here in Canada, but globally. I know you've done a great deal of work trying to take the research that your team and you are advancing around informing health services and policies to ensure that more nuanced lands and to ensure those policies and services are more inclusive of LGBTQ plus communities. Can you give us some examples on how you've tried to shake things up in the policy realm and use your findings to really open up some of those windows of opportunity and reframing of policy to take into account your findings?
Lori Ross [00:11:44] Sure. Yeah. I mean, that is definitely a priority of my research team, is to try to translate research into action wherever we can. And I guess one of the most recent opportunities to do that came out in the last couple of years where the federal government launched their first ever study on to 2SLGBTQ health in Canada. So that is really, you know, a landmark acknowledgment that there are these health disparities in Canada. And I think also Canada offers a really interesting case study because we have here a relatively progressive policy environment for two us, LGBTQ plus people. There are many legal protections in place for our communities, and that has continued to improve over the years. But at the same time, we still see significant health disparities. So so obviously what has been done so far is still insufficient to to address the disparities. So the federal government launched this study, and I was privileged to be invited to participate as one of the witnesses and have the opportunity to share both in person to the Standing Committee on Health in Ottawa and also to submit a written brief outlining some of the recommendations that follow from my team's research in this area. And we made several recommendations, and they have many recommendations in the final report that was published that folks can take a look at. One of the ones that maybe I'll highlight here, because it's so parallel to SDG five, is I made the recommendation. Sexual orientation and gender identity be explicitly included within the mandate of the Institute for Gender and Health. Because like for SDG five, the Institute for Gender and Health mentions gender but doesn't specifically name sexual orientation and isn't explicit about the inclusion of issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity in their work. And that's really significant because it means that the reviewers sitting on that committee won't necessarily have the expertise to evaluate proposals that are centered on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nor do researchers necessarily anticipate or know that that might be a committee where this work will find a home. So it's really an important step, I think, towards increasing the research. The body of evidence that's available when policymakers and practitioners are trying to make good decisions about how to deliver health care in Canada in a way that is going to meet the needs of two US LGBTQ plus people. Another area where I really think advocacy is needed is around the delivery of mental health care, because we know that although there are disparities across many health outcomes that are particularly pronounced in relation to mental health outcomes in in Ontario, as in in many places, much of mental health care is delivered through the private sector. And so that really creates barriers, particularly for people living in low income or who don't have access to employment that provides benefits because the mental health care that's available through the public system is limited and doesn't allow for someone to seek out someone who can provide specialist care around sexual orientation and gender identity related issues. So there's really a gap in terms of the care that folks have access to that would enable us to really address that, those disparities that we see across a wide variety of mental health outcomes.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:15:26] Well, you've listed, I think, some really excellent examples, some in terms of how these issues in the policy realm and in service delivery intersect with other determinants of health. What about race and racism? Are there any intersections that your research and any gaps in in policy that you wanted to highlight?
Lori Ross [00:15:46] Yeah, absolutely. So that's an area that, particularly in the last several years, our team has tried to center and understand how racism and forms of oppression associated with sexual orientation and gender identity intersect. And in terms of the the Standing Committee on Health, the the report that was put out, although it offers many excellent and important recommendations, there are some gaps in terms of centering intersections with racism and the need to think about recommendations that would really take up those intersections. So that's an area where certainly my team is continuing to work and I have some really excellent students who are leading work in those areas. And I think in general, it's it's really necessary to, particularly in the current social and political moment, to be centering discussions of racism and its intersections with all kinds of social identities. But I think it's really a significant gap not to center that in our conversations about who is LGBTQ health, not only in terms of making sure that we are addressing important disparities, but also in terms of recognizing resilience and resourcefulness that's happening within communities to, you know, work around the gaps in the current system to produce and deliver services and supports themselves within their communities. And certainly we've seen this in our work that communities show incredible resourcefulness in face of of a system that is not meeting their needs and is identifying supports and services that that are being delivered on a grassroots level. So we really need to acknowledge that resilience and resourcefulness and think about what lessons we can learn from how communities are taking care of themselves.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:17:52] Well, it sounds like we need to be also shining the light on what is happening at the local level to resist and to act on those recommendations. Because we do know at other levels of government it can be very slow. However, with COVID 19, all the discussions about building back better, hopefully many of the recommendations that you and your group have put forward will be seriously taken into account because we do have some really important windows of opportunity. Any any last comments you want to offer in terms of the recommendations and how they're being taken up or not? You've already commented nicely on how communities are acting in very resilient ways to counter some of the the challenging ways in which services are delivered. Any last thoughts before we close?
Lori Ross [00:18:41] I guess I would just say in the context of COVID, I know I'm kind of tangentially involved in a number of research studies that are looking at the impact of COVID one on to 2SLGBTQ+ communities specifically. And and so certainly that said that there are issues and concerns that that unsurprising given the health and economic disparities that we see associated with sexual orientation and gender identity. And so necessarily so, a lot of the attention at all three levels of government is really being directed to to responses to COVID. And so I guess I would just say that I hope that the issues and concerns of our communities don't go invisible in that attention that, you know, like like other communities that are dealing with social marginalization and discrimination to us, LGBTQ plus communities are disproportionately affected by COVID in particular ways. And so I hope that we'll see policymakers really attending to that as the responses to COVID are rolled out.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:19:50] Well, thanks so much for all the excellent work that you and your team are involved in to help advance and push the needle on this front. I know Canada prides itself globally to be a champion of gender equality, and I think you've given us some really important nuances to further expand and not just take SDG five at face value, but to really critique it and to [..] and Canada can certainly, I think, advance in different areas. Thanks so much for joining us today, Lori.
Lori Ross [00:20:21] Thanks so much for having me.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:20:30] I'm also delighted to have Sireesha Bobbili on the program. She is a Ph.D. candidate in social and behavioral health sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She formerly worked as a project manager at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, where she led projects focusing on improving mental health systems both locally and abroad to increase access to vulnerable and marginalized population. Sireesha conducts global health research regarding mental health and substance use, violence against women and public health policy. So Sireesha, can you tell us how the historical and cultural contexts affect our global efforts to achieve gender equality?
Sireesha Bobbili [00:21:11] Sure. As far as social and cultural context, social identities such as race, class and gender are shaped by culture, and they intersect to inform our individual experiences. We can't really fully understand these experiences by only focusing on one dimension. So we actually have to consider how these dimensions intersect and according to intersectionality, experiences at the individual level, actually reflect social structures at the macro level that privilege or oppress certain groups of people. So, for example, gender discrimination is embedded into certain systems such as the workplace, where women are often overlooked for certain jobs and promotions, even though they may be more qualified than their male counterparts. Now think about layering on being a woman of color. Her experiences of systemic racism will contribute to her experience of gender discrimination. And this will be very different than the gender discrimination that may be experienced by someone else, such as a white woman. And to to answer your question in terms of the historical as well as maybe geopolitical forces, they also have an impact on the way we think about gender and construct gender norms, which we consider to be a set of socially and culturally created ideas that define acceptable behaviors for men and women. And they actually differ can differ across countries, populations and time. One thing that I always think about is the impact of colonialism and how it continues to have an impact on present day society by privileging and oppressing certain groups through the current macro systems that are in place. Thinking about North and South America and the Caribbean, which were all colonized, a division was actually created between human and non-human beings by the colonizers, as well as between men and women. For example, indigenous and African populations, as well as Asian populations, were considered to be lesser than their European colonizers. And this led to the subordination of these groups. And of course, across all populations, women were also considered to be lesser than men. And because of historical contexts, there's not only a hierarchy that's embedded into the gender system, but race also differentiates population and promotes biases towards certain groups.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:24:00] Mm hmm. Yeah. No, I think you've really given us a lot to unpack there. And also some of the dangers of not actually contextualizing the data and the evidence that is generated from our studies. So, you know, one of the other things I know you're really paying attention to is how policy responses can contribute to a reduction in gender inequality. However, we know policies can be quite blunt and sometimes take more of a singular focus that might run counter to what you just said, which is that we need a more intersectional lens on policy. So what do you think about that question? Like how does the context and everything you've just said impact on our policy responses to reduce gender inequality?
Sireesha Bobbili [00:24:44] I think that context is is extremely important and definitely should be considered when developing gender equality policies. But I really don't think that it's been adequately considered in Canada, even as well as the majority of countries. And I want to give you an example of this here at home, because I think that historical context, again, going back to colonialism, continues to have an impact on contemporary Canadian society. And I automatically think about the astounding number of missing and murdered Indigenous women as a prime example of how human rights and gender equality frameworks have failed to protect these women in Canada. And, you know, we have statistics that show that indigenous women are three times more likely than non-indigenous women to be victims of violence. And this can be linked to a history of violence against indigenous peoples in Canada. And although we've recently had a national inquiry into this issue, I think it's a great first step. But these findings really need to be translated into actionable steps and policy responses that are appropriate and actually continue to address this problem in a way that's. That's relevant to the situation.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:26:14] Mm hmm. Yeah. I mean, I think it's a really good example when people don't count, are not counted, then they're not actually taken into account when we think about our policy responses. And we have to change that. Actually, [what I want to do] now is kind of shift the conversation a little bit to help you, you know, reflect on some of your research, which is really exciting about what are some of the current challenges that exist with the implementation of violence against women policy in Guyana, which I know is where you're doing your work. Any examples from your research you'd like to share with our listeners?
Sireesha Bobbili [00:26:51] Sure. So I want to draw on some of my past research, as well as my current PhD research about violence against women, and really show how it speaks to the complexity of the issue and the challenges associated with implementation. So just to give you a little bit of background, Guyana is a small country in South America, but it's also considered to be a part of the Caribbean based on its location and history. It was colonized by the Dutch, the French and the British. And this involves slavery and indenture ship drawing people from Africa, Asia, specifically India to Guyana for capitalist purposes. And it's interesting because the colonized peoples were actually othered in relation to one another based on intersections of ethnicity, gender and race. And this has led to contemporary divisions based along these racial and ethnic lines. So in terms of violence against women, there's a high rate of violence against women across the Caribbean. And this caused UN women in 2018, along with a few other organizations, to gather evidence to better understand the problem. So myself and Dr. Ruth Rodney, who is actually a PhD student at the time in the Faculty of Nursing and she was also a student in the collaborative program in Global Health. And we got together to take on this consultancy project to develop a national qualitative research study as part of a larger mixed method study. And we explored violence against women across the country, and our qualitative results showed us that the issue of violence against women is very complex. And at the individual level, many participants actually uphold traditional gender norms, such as men being the provider and women taking care of the home. And these ideas actually underlie gender inequality, and it's at the root of violence against women. And a lot of participants talked about behavioral factors such as drug and alcohol abuse that were thought to cause violence. But in fact, they actually worsen conditions and increase the risk for violence. And we see a similar situation happening currently with lockdown and stay at home restrictions that are associated with COVID 19. And these restrictions have actually been exacerbating conditions for violence. And we see increases in calls to help lines and to shelters in Guyana as well as around the world. And I also noticed with our qualitative research that community factors play a role in violence against women. So, for instance, community and family norms dictate that women should maintain good social standing in their communities, which sometimes means staying in an abusive relationship because divorce or separation is actually frowned upon. And there is a certain level of community acceptance of violence as well, because it's so common. Many feel that it's a normal part of life and are therefore reluctant to take action or to address violence or support survivors. And some may, in fact, blame survivors for the violence, thinking that they somehow deserve the abuse. So all of this qualitative research really informed my Ph.D. topic, and I was really curious to understand why these progressive policies in Guyana were having a limited impact on violence against women. So my main research question was, is how well is national policy addressing violence against women in Guyana? And it focuses on policy actors and how they understand violence and how they understand the related policies as well. I'm really curious as to how these understandings shape policy implementation. So I spoke with a variety of policy actors and police officers, people who work in the health field, social services, the judiciary, as well as people that work for non-governmental organizations that support survivors. And they provided a lot of insight into the current situation. So I'm in the process of my data analysis, but I have some preliminary findings that I can share.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:31:29] That's exciting.
Sireesha Bobbili [00:31:31] Yes, very exciting. So the [..] I noticed that most of the professionals are aware of the laws. However, some are unclear as to how to enforce these laws in their professional capacity. So, for instance, some health care professionals were unsure what the procedures were for dealing with patients who present with emotional or physical trauma associated with abuse. For those professionals who are aware of the policies and their roles, some shared their frustration with being unable to exercise the powers that are afforded to them by the policies. And this was due to the lack of cooperation from the survivors themselves. For instance, police officers who suspected violence and were unable to actually press charges unless they witnessed the altercation or the survivor reported violence had actually taken place. Interestingly as well, some participants said that women went to policy actors for supports that are not actually outlined as policy responses. So, for example, some women asked police officers to reprimand or scare an abusive partner for acting into acting properly, but they didn't actually want to take any legal action or press charges, which are the defined policy responses. Some just wanted other formal supports to address the unacceptable behavior.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:33:07] Well, I think your examples from your research and your past research really illustrate beautifully how complex this issue is and how it intersects with not just the health sector, but many sectors and many policy actors have a role to play, which just further complicate the the solutions and the way in which we need to act on this. So I look forward to hearing more in the New Year about your exciting research. But I guess we want to kind of end on a hopeful note. There is there are a lot of negative and unintended consequences, which we cannot minimize. But we also want to be focusing on what can institutions, governments, community organizations do to make an impact on reducing gender inequality, both here locally at the global scale. So what would you say to that? I know that's a big question, but where should we start? And what really needs to be done?
Sireesha Bobbili [00:34:07] So I think the institutions and governments can make a concerted effort to ensure that women are equally represented in decision making positions. So being represented in the parliament and executive level positions. I also think that governments really need to conduct research that investigates perspectives about gender, gender norms, experiences of gender discrimination, but from a variety of participants, especially those who are disproportionately affected by gender discrimination, I think that this kind of research will be helpful with pointing to strategies that can dismantle harmful gender norms and stereotypes. But it can also identify where to invest public funds. Um one other thing that I think governments can do is meaningfully involve people with lived experience of gender discrimination and gender based violence to help develop policies. I also think that a variety of stakeholders should be involved to translate these policies into action plans that will be used at the front lines, for example, involving law enforcement professionals to develop procedures that are relevant and feasible for their context. And finally, I think that governments should really tailor policies to the needs of the specific populations that are in their countries to ensure that they are culturally relevant and appropriate.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:35:50] Sireesha, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us your perspective. I think you've really highlighted some really important considerations, including the need to respect the diversity of voices that need to be at the table and to be mindful of not homogenizing one perspective and assume that that should be what needs to govern how we develop and implement policies. So you've given us a lot to think about, and we want to thank you for taking the time for sharing your ideas and your research.
Sireesha Bobbili [00:36:19] Thank you, Erica. And thanks to the collaborative program in Global Health for holding this session and inviting me here today to speak with you about gender equality.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:36:35] So as you've just heard, the conversations with our guests today have reinforced that gender inequality can only be understood through consideration of the historical, social, political and economic disempowerment of women and gender diverse people and sexual minorities. All policies and programs seeking to support women should really explicitly seek to include these groups with intersectionality at the forefront in order to develop a more equitable social, political and economic environment for women and gender diverse individuals. If the Sustainable Development Goal's true aim is to leave no one behind. Intersectionality and equity must be at the center of each of these 17 SDGs, including and especially SDG five.
Erica Di Ruggiero [00:37:19] Healthy cities in the SDG era is made with the support of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, whose mission is to bring urban focus researchers, educators, students, practitioners and the public together to explore and address complex urban challenges. You can find healthy cities in the SDG era on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health's YouTube page. Join us for our next episode where we'll look at SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals and Global Health Diplomacy. Thank you for tuning in and we look forward to speaking to you soon. Take care.