Did you know that approximately four in five healthcare workers around the world are women? The Equal Futures Network is shining a light on the work of women healthcare workers in Canada.

Brintha Sivajohan is a medical student and research trainee at Western University who is passionate about advocating for health equity. Her work focuses on improving maternal care through collaborations at various centres across the country. Her interest in political advocacy have also led to her interning with a member of parliament (MP) to assist with pandemic recovery. She is the co-founder of a non-profit organization called the BIPOC Women’s Health Network. Through this organization, Brintha is leading many initiatives focused on improving racial disparities in healthcare outcomes and advocacy projects to improve access to care using an intersectional lens. 

How has the pandemic impacted your work? If you could get Canadians to understand one thing about your work during the pandemic what would it be? 

The pandemic has exacerbated many inequities that previously existed for marginalized communities and in many ways it has increased the accessibility barriers that these communities face. In order to build back and meaningfully engage in recovery projects, we need to make sure that the voices of these communities are centred in the conversations we are having. 

How has the pandemic impacted your personal life? 

The pandemic has taught me how social we all are and has made me rethink the importance of community. 

Have you been vaccinated? If so, how did you feel when you found out that you were scheduled to get the vaccine? If not, how has the wait impacted your mental health? 

I have not been vaccinated yet but my first appointment has been booked! It’s been a huge relief to do my part in keeping my community protected. 

What is one piece of advice that you would share with other students during this time? 

We aren’t all in the same boat. The pandemic has impacted people very differently. Don’t compare yourself to how others are functioning during these weird times! Find a rhythm that works for you, pursue your own passions and define your own success. 

It has been a long and hard year. What keeps you going? Are there any hopeful stories that you can share with us? 

I’ve always been very close to my family, friends and dogs but this year has made that more important to me than ever! I’ve found that prioritizing my wellness has made me a much more effective advocate and my support system has played a large role in that! Being the person my dogs think I am has definitely helped me get through this year! 

Local Leaders: Mayor Gale Katchur
Women on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response in Canada: Afomia Gebre

The Equal Futures Network acknowledges that Indigenous people are the traditional guardians of Turtle Island, on the land also known as Canada

Read our full Territory Acknowledgment here.