The social and economic consequences of the pandemic threaten to & # 8220; slow down & # 8221; decades of progress towards gender equality, as COVID-19 caused major disruptions in the whole spectrum of daily life and women were called upon to lift more weight than men, according to a new international scientific study, the first of its kind. this finding.
The researchers, led by Emmanuela Gakidou, a Greek-born professor at the School of Medicine and the Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, published their findings in the medical journal & # 8220; The Lancet & # 8220; comprehensive assessment of gender inequalities caused by the indirect effects of the pandemic, taking into account differences between men and women in coronavirus vaccination rates, health care, work, education, home, community etc.
The largest and most persistent gap was found in employment and paid work, with 26% of women (one in four) reporting losing their jobs due to the pandemic, compared to 20% of men (one in five) worldwide. Also, women and girls around the world were 1.21 times more likely to drop out of school and 1.23 times more likely to be sexually abused than men and boys.
& # 8220; Our study shows that Covid-19 tends to exacerbate pre-existing social and economic inequalities rather than create new inequalities, & # 8221 ;, said Dr. Gakidou, who holds a PhD from the University Harvard. & # 8220; We can not let the social and economic effects of the pandemic continue into the post-COVID era. It is necessary to take action now, not only to reverse the existing inequalities, but to further close the gaps that already existed before the pandemic started & # 8221 ;, he added.
The study, which was funded by the Bill & amp; Melinda Gates, analyzed data from 193 countries for the period March 2020-September 2021. It was found that since the beginning of the pandemic, women everywhere reported higher rates of job loss than men, although this trend tends to decrease with passage of time. On the other hand, in terms of income loss (reported by 58% of people worldwide) due to the pandemic, the rates were similar for both sexes.
Women were more likely to be unemployed because they were employed in a higher proportion in sectors of the economy that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, such as the hotel sector and domestic workers, which is especially true for migrant and minority women.
Women have also taken on more than men take responsibility for the household and the upbringing of children and the elderly in the midst of a pandemic, resulting in less time available for paid work. 54% of women worldwide – compared to 44% of men – reported that gender-based violence increased in their community during the pandemic. On the other hand, women and men reported a similar percentage (34%) that they feel insecure in their own home.