Women make up 39% of global employment's jobs but during the pandemic, their jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable. As of May 2020, women have already accounted for 54% of overall job losses which would suggest a regressive approach has been taken towards workplace equality.
A key factor that contributed to women’s employment rate is dropping faster than average is the increasing burden of unpaid care in light of the pandemic.
Mckinsey estimated that global GDP growth could be $1 trillion lower in 2030 than it would be if women’s unemployment simply tracked that of men in each sector.
Is this just a matter of negative impact caused by the pandemic in general?
Of course, most people’s lives and work have been negatively affected by the crisis, however data suggested that women’s jobs and livelihoods are much vulnerable during the COVID19 period:
Looking at the two countries in United States and India, where gender-disaggregated data are available, it estimated that female job loss rates due to COVID-19 are about 1.8 times higher than male job loss rates globally, at 5.7 percent versus 3.1 percent respectively.
Studies has shown mothers and fathers have a different experience when comes to dealing with the pandemic. Study by UCL in UK has shown that mothers of primary school children have spent an average of 5 hours every day on home schooling. Fathers on the other hand only spent two hours.
According to job search website FlexJobs survey:
17% Proportion of mother had to quit work compared to 10% of the fathers
Over 60% working mothers said they mostly handled childcare, compared with 42% of the fathers.
80% of mothers also said they took the lead on remote learning, versus 31% of fathers.
Looking purely at how the 2020 pandemic has created a greater problem for equality, let’s start by examining the middle east:
Regarding to legal rights based on gender, it has always been an uphill battle for woman to gain access to justice with only three-quarter of the legal rights afforded to men. Areas such as family relationships, employment, control of economic assets, and violence are amongst the ones that needed much more attention on. (Source: Women, Business and the Law 2020)
A few points to highlight from World Economic Forum:
Although women doesn't necessarily associate more legal problems than men, but they tend to face specific problems such as alimony, support, sexual violence, etc... The socioeconomic factor is huge
Women frequently lack the financial resources and social networks to navigate justice systems
Social norms, which often are more restrictive than laws, may prevent them from taking legal action