Giving Compass' Take:
- A survey of women in the UK indicated that many believe progress on gender equality is in reverse since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A majority of the female respondents lost their jobs and reported doing more housework than their male counterparts, demonstrating the severe impact of COVID-19 on gender equality worldwide. How can policy change help drive women toward parity?
- Read more about COVID-19 and women's rights.
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Recent research by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has shown that women have lost their jobs at a higher rate than men in the world’s wealthiest countries, while according to the UN, violence against women has increased globally.
The UK is no different. In a survey released on Monday by the parenting website Mumsnet, it was revealed that the majority of women with male partners in the UK are doing a larger proportion of housework, and a third said their career had been more adversely affected by the pandemic.
The poll of 1,217 women revealed that 70% of mothers with a male partner said that they had done the majority of home-schooling while UK schools have been closed; 73% said they had done all or most of the laundry during the pandemic; and 60% had done all or most of the cooking.
Almost half, 49%, said they expected gender equality to be in reverse in the next few years, the poll, reported by the Guardian, revealed.
Meanwhile 56% of the women surveyed agreed that “when it comes to women’s place in work, the home, and in society, we’re in danger of going back to the 1970s,” Mumsnet said in a press statement.
“This survey paints a fairly depressing picture of how gender inequality has been exacerbated during the pandemic, with women really struggling to cope,” said Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts.
“What’s needed is a proper women’s strategy, with specific policies to redress the inequality that’s been triggered by COVID,” Roberts continued. “Or we’re at real risk of heading right back to the 1970s with regard to women’s economic power.”
In response to the issue of increasingly worsening economic and social conditions for women, campaigners have called for the government to put in place specific policies to support gender equality.
Read the full article about progress on gender equality by Helen Lock at Global Citizen.