Impact of Covid on womenThursday 10 December 2020
Gender equality (SDG 5) has been recognised as a crucial element for advancing sustainable development. Commitment to achieving ‘equal pay for work of equal value’ is also part of SDG 8 to promote economic growth and decent work for all.
Yet, in modern society, girls and women on average perform three times the amount of unpaid care work than men do.
The 2016, European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) found that women spent 39 hours a week on average taking care of their children, against the 21 hours spent by men.
Women devoted an average of 17 hours a week to cooking and housework, compared to the 10 hours contributed by men. The COVID- 19 pandemic has not only highlighted and increased systemic inequalities, but also exposed the widening gap between the SDGs and their implementation.
As the pandemic continues to cripple the economy globally, the amount of unpaid work is likely to skyrocket as all household chores have to be managed at home while children are at home instead of school.
Women who were economically disadvantaged before the crisis are now risking poverty, unemployment, social exclusion, homelessness and – as history has shown – they will be heavily affected in the long term.
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