The Battle Of Gender Equality And Unpaid Labor
Due to the pandemic, 469 million women and girls will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2020.
A new report has emphasised how domestic pressures on women and girls have grown during the pandemic, with worrying implications.
UN Women’s Whose Time To Care? report, published Wednesday, presents data collated from 38 countries throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and how the current situation may affect the global effort for women’s rights.
The report is quick to highlight that men, women, and children have collectively increased how much they have provided help to others. Nonetheless, women and girls are still providing the majority, particularly in terms of domestic care. 82% of men reported that their partner/spouse was more involved around the home, and 62% of parents reported that their daughters were providing more support than ever.
Although each of us should endeavour to perform a degree of unpaid labor (like helping around the house or caring for friends and relatives), it’s clear that the responsibility is disproportionally placed on women and girls. Women are also leaving the workplace at a higher rate, choosing instead to care for children. In September alone, an estimated 865,000 women left the workforce in the US, compared with 216,000 men. This enduring decline in female workers has made an impact on the economy. The report states that due to the economic effect of the pandemic, 13% of the world’s women and girls will experience extreme poverty by the end of 2020- that’s 469 million people.
It goes without saying: more needs to be done to protect and support women and girls. With this consensus in mind, the report concludes:
“It is high time that this work be recognized, reduced, redistributed and, ultimately, supported through concrete policy action, including through broad investments in the care economy. Adequately remunerating care workers—the majority of whom are women— would be an important step in priming the pump of economies world-wide.”
And we couldn’t agree more.