Workplace Gender Equality in the Post-Pandemic Era: Where to next?
Workplace gender equality in the post-pandemic era: Where to next?
Economic crises have gendered impacts on women that require gender sensitive institutional responses. Exacerbating long standing inequalities faced by women, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed and heightened how women are disproportionately impacted by gender inequalities at work and at home.
In the workforce, women working in industries affected by business closures and government mandated lockdowns, experienced greater job losses. Women who didn’t experience job loss, experienced greater drops in their working hours and pay than their male counterparts. For mothers, the impact was particularly acute. Employed women with children had to reduce their working hours four to five times more than working men with children. When compared to working men with children, working women with children were far more likely to drop out of the workforce during the pandemic in order to satisfy the demands of parenthood.
With the loss of work, closure of schools and early education centers, mandated lockdowns and stay at home orders, women were more confined to their homes and consequently exposed to a heightened risk of domestic violence. Consequently, the pandemic intensified both the risks and vulnerabilities of women faced with gender based violence. Reflected in the rise of domestic violence and intimate partner violence cases, women reported that the violence had “started or intensified” during the pandemic. Left with limited resources and nowhere to go, the mandated lockdowns and stay at home orders detrimentally left many victims trapped with their abuser.