the price women are paying for the Covid-19 crisis

The economic shock caused by the health crisis affects women more than men. Embedding, division of labor in the home and childcare have affected careers. Their unemployment is rising.

Women have been overrepresented in the medical profession and have been at the forefront of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. But because they hold more precarious jobs than men, they are also the first to suffer the economic shock caused by the health crisis.

The pandemic could jeopardize the progress made over the past three decades in reducing their economic disparities with men, warned Kristalina Georgieva, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Tuesday in a forum signed by three senior IMF officials. .

Eurostat’s statistics for May in the euro area already show the impact on women’s economic situation since then their unemployment rose to 7.9% from 7.7% in AprilAlthough it remains unchanged at 7.0% for men, Céline Piques, economist and president of Dare Feminism !, is worried in the coming months.

Women’s careers affected

“During the containment, we saw quite sexist reflexes for organizing in the family organization, as well as for the care of the children, which was largely adopted by the women,” emphasizes the activist that France contacted 24.

It relies a study conducted by the CGT union, revealing that the closure of schools had resulted in a surplus of household and parental responsibilities for women. Approximately 43% of respondents spent more than four hours overtime per day caring for their children, compared with 26% of respondents.

However, some measures have helped to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis on women, such as sick leave extended to parents affected by school closures. A measure applauded by Kristalina Georgieva and the IMF.

“It was necessary,” says Céline Piques, who welcomes this unit, while recalling that it has paradoxically benefited men to a great extent. Equal situation, Most women – 70% – have used this sick leave for childcare.

“The impact will be felt when they have to negotiate increases,” explains Céline Piques. “Those who have worked for several months and who have participated in the life of the company will be privileged over those who had to take advantage of the interruption for childcare.”

In the research sector, the effects have already been felt. Quantity publications by scientific researchers have declined drastically during the containment, while the male researchers published more than usual. “These researchers were undoubtedly able to work while their husbands took care of their children,” concludes Céline Piques. “Unfortunately, on a resume, it leaves traces and affects the careers of women, not to mention those who could not devote time to their job search, or even those who lost their jobs.”

Great insecurity feared for single mothers

The activist warns more specifically about the situation of single mothers. In France, one third of single parents live below the poverty line, and in 85% of cases it is mothers who have custody of the children.

“The most insecure, like the cashiers, lost their jobs during the confinement, because they could not go to work, because they had to take care of the children alone,” explains Céline Piques. For these women, the economic crisis is already a reality. “There are many testimonies from women who suffered enormously during the confinement and could not give birth to their children.” These women risk being on the front lines again if the deterioration in the economic situation announced by experts this autumn occurs, not to mention a restraint that is foreseen in the worst case.

With AFP