Relational Autonomy: Addressing the Vulnerabilities of Women in a Global Pandemic

/ 2022 | Lilith: A Feminist History / By Petra Brown and Tamara Kayali Browne /

Covid-19 has exacerbated women’s vulnerabilities because Western neoliberal societies expect, support and celebrate individuals who embody and exercise an individualistic view of autonomy. In reality, however, many people, especially women, operate on a relational view of autonomy that mostly goes unrecognised and unsupported. Relational autonomy recognises that our interpersonal relationships are not only important but also inform our decision-making. In contrast, the individualistic view of autonomy does not take into account one’s relationality and shifts responsibility to the individual alone

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