The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone globally. It has impacted every livelihood around the world. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a regressive impact on gender equality and has inflicted an alarming impact on women and their employment.
According to Oxfam International, women have globally lost more than 64 million jobs. Oxfam International’s Executive Director Gabriela Bucher asserted in a declaration that the Economic aftermath from the Covid-19 pandemic is having a harsher influence on women, who are disproportionately exemplified in sectors providing low incomes, insufficient benefits, and the least secure employment. Also, the conclusions do not comprise millions of women functioning in the colloquial division like household help or the market traders.
While the Covid 19 has its negative impact on everyone, the surveys and the data collected from the USA and India indicate that it's the women who are most likely vulnerable to the Covid 19 pandemic.
In India, women are the worst hit by the unemployment crisis. It has caused a devastating effect on the livelihood of women. Unemployment is on the rise in both urban and rural areas. The situation is more severe for women who tend to have low-paying jobs and job security. Women in India are mostly seen employed in the informal sector and it is the informal sector that has been hit hard as millions of livelihood have evaporated completely. India has one of the highest rates of informal work in the world, and the pandemic has increased this, leaving the great majority of workers without access to labor laws or any sort of social security. Many women and their families are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the loss of jobs and increased care obligations. Unsurprisingly, the poorest and most vulnerable households are the hardest hit, with many now going hungry and having to cut back on their food intake to make ends meet.
Women Domestic workers in India belonging to different states, many of whom are migrants from rural areas, have lost their jobs in large numbers, causing many to return to their villages. Dueto the lockdowns, many of these women who were the sole bread earners of their home or single mothers faced many hardships.
One of which I have seen myself, my hostel's domestic helper who is a single mother of two children, is still not able to overcome the crisis of Covid’19. The rent of her room along with the daily essentials and the education of her children all has been causing a huge problem for her. Even after one year of lockdown, she is still not able to overcome the debt that she took during the lockdown. Many women have been unemployed for several months during this lockdown, especially the domestic helpers.
There are thousands of women out there just like her fighting every day to overcome this crisis and earn for their families and to look out for themselves and their kids. In every nation in every landmass, along with losing earnings, unpaid care job has exploded for women. They had to work twofold as arduous during the epidemic. Already women in our patriarchal society are given the task of looking out for their family needs, raising the children, doing dishes, and cleaning. Mothers were three times more likely than men to be in charge of the majority of housework and child care during the pandemic. Women who were working white-collar jobs too had to face many problems. During the pandemic “Work from home” started where the employers could work from home on their gadgets for the given hours. With the domestic helpers not able to come and do their jobs during the lockdown these white-collar women faced difficulties of doing the household chores, along with the office work. The workload, the stress, and the impact on their mental health have worsened during this pandemic.
Women who would take the help of other women helpers were now left to do everything by themselves, along with the women who were earning by doing chores in households. Due to this enormous pressure, many women were forced to leave their jobs for their sanity. With husbands and kids being at home for the whole day, these women had no option to leave their jobs.
Women have lost more income during the Covid’19 pandemic than males, as pre-existing gender inequalities compound an already difficult position.
Women's unemployment has been deteriorated by the combined effects of unemployment and pressure on women to abandon the workforce due to child care obligations. With the online classes and education, it has become mandatory for one the parents to stay at home and to look out for their child but this has brought severe hardships for single mothers who are forced to leave their work or ompromise for the sake of their child.
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