Towards Inclusive Crisis Responses

20-21 June 2023 | Brussels | La Tricoterie


Three years after the outbreak of COVID-19, we take a look at the impact of pandemic policies and societal responses on gendered and intersectional inequalities. Not only have these responses strongly increased existing inequalities – related to decision-making, economy, work, pay and pension, education, environment, safety, care, health, or human rights, they have also created new inequalities, such as in digitalisation, access to green spaces, or health services, creating disastrous effects. However, the crisis has also highlighted many Better Stories of inspiring policy and societal responses to these gendered impacts, striving to build back better by putting care, diversity, and social wellbeing at the centre of social change, and challenging gendered and intersectional power relations.



Day 1: 20 June 2023, 14:30 – 18:40 CET

14:00  |  Registration

For online and in-person participants

14:30  |  Opening of RESISTIRÉ’s Final Conference

Moderator: Colette Schrodi, RESISTIRÉ Communication Officer, European Science Foundation

Emmanouil Detsis, RESISTIRÉ Coordinator, European Science Foundation

Oriane Gilloz, Policy Officer at the Gender Sector at European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) 

14:50  |  Presentation of RESISTIRÉ’s innovative methodology and key impacts

Alain Denis, lead for developing RESISTIRÉ Open Studios, Yellow Window

Sofia Strid, RESISTIRÉ Scientific Coordinator, University of Gothenburg

15:30  |  Opening keynote speech

madeleine kennedy-macfoy: Executive Director of Gender at Work and Co-Editor of the European Journal of Women’s Studies

16:00  |  Coffee Break

16:20  |  Better stories of responding to gender-based violence in the pandemic: Feminist solidarity in times of crisis

Extensive pandemic research has shown the increased levels and new forms of gendered violence and violations, the shortcomings of support services, and the lack of addressing gender-based violence in crisis management plans. However, there are counter stories which showcase resourcefulness and feminist solidarity, despite the vast challenges.

Based on RESISTIRÉ findings and in-person experiences of activists and policymakers, this session will explore the challenges and potentials of gender+ inclusive feminist better stories of preventing and responding to gender-based violence during the pandemic.

Moderator: Ayşe Gül Altinay, Sabanci University

Conclusions from RESISTIRÉ’s findings: María López Belloso, University of Deusto

Innovative Pilot Solutions, Engaging with gender-based violence through sports:

Round-table discussion:

17:50  |  The Open Studio approach

The RESISTIRÉ project is designed to be participatory. Open Studios constitute an innovative, multidisciplinary approach developed to bring together a wide diversity of participants and methods to co-create ‘better stories’ of responding to the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic and the policies associated with it.

Moderator: Anne-Charlott Callerstig, Örebro University

Panellists: Nazli Turker, Sabanci University; Aart Kerremans, Yellow Window; Alicja Bobek, Technical University of Dublin; Lina Sandström, Örebro University

18:30  |  RESISTIRé’s Book of Narratives

18:40  | Networking drinks & walking dinner

22:00  | Doors close


DAY 2: 21 June 2023, 9:00 – 16:00 CET

9:00  |  Beyond connection: caring for an inclusive digital transition

The sudden acceleration in the digitalisation of processes and human interactions during the pandemic had various positive impacts, from enabling public services to become more streamlined and facilitate access to public administration, to providing online eduction during lockdowns and allowing civil society organisations to reach more people, automate various activities and launch aid platforms. However, the transition to digital interactions has created conditions for the reproduction of old inequalities and the creation of new ones. Those without devices, connectivity and skills often being excluded from the benefits seen above.

During this session, we will reflect on these ambivalent dynamics of digitalisation and its uneven effects to better understand how the process of digital transition can be curated with consideration of the voices of those people that usually are forgotten or silenced, especially during crisis situations, through a collaboration between policy makers and civil society organizations.

Moderator: Charoula Tzanakou, Oxford Brookes University

Conclusions from RESISTIRÉ’s research: Roberto Cibin, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Innovative Solutions:


  • Yingqin Zheng, Associate Professor, University of Essex, United Kingdom
  • Sergio Pérez Barranco, Project Officer, European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless
  • Christian Morabito, International Expert and Senior Researcher, Save the Children Italy
  • Tania Maamary, Paradigm, Digital Inclusion Coordinator for the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium
  • Jakub Możaryn – Moderator of the Widzialna Ręka / Visible Hand mutual aid group, Poland

10:30  |  Coffee Break

10:50  |  Bringing back care to healthcare

The pandemic has reminded society of the essential role of our health care system, and how crucial the people who work in the system are. The sanitary crisis has also shown the importance of investing in prevention to address societal needs, including the need for equity from a gender+ and intersectional perspective to reduce health inequalities.

To achieve a resilient and inclusive health care system, we need to speed up the shift from a system focusing on curing to a system that focusses on prevention. This new eco-system looks at the health of people in a holistic way rather than at diseases and therapies, also recognising the importance of mental health and the need to invest in the prevention of mental health problems.

Moderation: Agnieszka Kolasińska, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Conclusions from RESISTIRÉ’s research: Federica Rossetti, Sciensano

Innovative Pilot Solutions:

Panel discussion:

  • Hanna Haveri, Specialist in neurology with competence in eHealth and planetary health physician at Päijät-Häme Joint Authority for Health and Wellbeing.
  • Caroline Costongs, Director of EuroHealthNet
  • Anke Witteveen, Clinical Psychology Assistant Professor, Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands
  • Anna Szczegielniak, Psychiatry specialist, researcher and clinician at the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice

12:30  |  Lunch break

13:40  |  Presentations from sister projects

14:00  |  RESISTIRé’s Pilot projects

14:10  |  Policy support for inclusive crisis responses

It is now well established that the socioeconomic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic had a strong gender dimension. While following the guidelines prepared by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (the key European Union recovery instrument) most of the Member States introduced some measures focusing on or contributing to gender equality, however, RESISTIRÉ’s research findings on crisis response and the following recovery policies across Europe suggest that there is still much room for improvement in terms of inclusive preparation for crisis.

During this session we will reflect on how different inequality grounds have been addressed in policy interventions during the pandemic, and what could have been done differently. The aim of the discussion is to determine how the process of responding and recovering from a crisis can be improved in the future, so as to ameliorate, not exacerbate, social inequalities.

Moderator: Marcela Linková, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Conclusions from RESISTIRÉ’s research: Vanda Černohorská, Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences


  • Laeticia Thissen, Senior Policy Analyst for Gender Equality, Foundation for European Progressive Studies
  • Magdalena Sapała, Policy Analyst, Next Generation EU Monitoring Service (NEXT), Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services
  • Katarzyna Szkuta, EU and International Affairs Advisor to the junior Minister for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities & Diversity, Belgian Federal Government.

  • Arnold de Boer, Policy Officer at the Secretariat General of the European Commission and Representative of the RECOVER Task Force

15:30  |  Keynote speech: looking towards the future

Mieke Verloo: Professor of Comparative Politics and Inequality Issues, Radboud University, Netherlands 

16:00  |  Farewell