Washington, DC/San Diego, November 22 (IPS)-The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on a global scale, but data and evidence show that women bear the brunt. Although inequalities in health, economic power, and other areas existed long before the pandemic began, the pandemic has widened these gaps.
During the pandemic, women suffer more economic losses than men. Compared with men, their unemployment rate is higher and their income is more likely to fall.For example, women include 60% unemployed In South Africa from February to April 2020, Research in Chad It is estimated that more women than men lose their wages due to COVID-19 (61% vs. 57%), and Research in 29 countries It was found that the proportion of women who were unemployed during COVID-19 was higher than that of men (42% vs. 31%).
During the pandemic, female business owners also suffered disproportionate losses. Studies have found that during a pandemic, women-owned businesses are more likely to suffer loss of profits and bankruptcy.For example, throughout South Asia, women’s companies closure About 50%, compared with 39% for men.
Women’s greater economic losses are partly due to their role as primary caregivers. The pandemic has caused school closures worldwide, which actually increases the burden of parenting for women (more than men) and inhibits their ability to engage in paid work.
On the one hand, working at home allows women to spend more time with their children and it is easier to combine paid work and unpaid care, but on the other hand, it hinders work-life balance and negatively affects work performance.
In addition, few female workers in the world can complete these tasks at home, which means that these increased childcare burdens prevent many women from gaining economic empowerment.
During the pandemic, research has also shown that gender-based violence has surged in many parts of the world—because blockades force people to stay at home with abusive partners. For example, a study from Peru It was found that during the lockdown period, both young men and young women experienced an increase in physical domestic violence, and those who had experienced violence before were more likely to experience this violence again.
In Zimbabwe, Qualitative research Of irregular women workers also recorded an increase in gender-based violence caused by staying at home with abusive spouses.
In Bangladesh, Research on intimate partner violence The study found that, overall, 45% of women surveyed experienced intimate partner violence during COVID-19, while women from rural areas with arranged marriages and lower education levels were more likely to experience violence.
Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely damaged women’s health and economic status. However, although extensive research and data have begun to depict the extent of the epidemic’s damage to women, so far, there have been studies on which policies or interventions can effectively address and reverse these new and growing inequalities. rare.
With limited evidence, this suggests that policy measures to respond to the pandemic Does not affect and benefit women equally. As world leaders strive to pursue a gender-equality recovery, they must ensure that COVID-19 recovery policies in all areas take into account the impact on women and aim to benefit and benefit women.
They must not only focus on the problem, but also fund and implement Evidence-based solutions, Including programs aimed at giving cash to women who have lost their jobs and income, addressing their disproportionate burden of unpaid care, and preventing gender-based violence.
Megan O’Donnell Is a policy researcher at the Global Development Center and leads the COVID-19 Gender and Development Initiative of a think tank; Shelby Burgau Is a researcher in the Gender Project of the Global Development Center, Lotus McDougall He is a researcher at the Center for Gender Equality and Health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
© Inter Press Service (2021) — All rights reservedOriginal source: International News Service