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Gender, Intersectionality & Covid-19

By Jenny Birchall

15 JULY 2021 - Over the last twelve months, a clear body of evidence has emerged to demonstrate the differing impacts of Covid-19 on women, girls, boys, and men. Across global regions, women have experienced substantial economic losses, hugely amplified unpaid care burdens, and a ‘shadow pandemic’ of violence. Girls forced out of education during the pandemic have experienced a range of negative impacts, including vulnerability to child marriage, abuse, and pregnancy. Out of school boys in fragile contexts have faced increased vulnerability to recruitment by armed groups. Meanwhile, commenters note that men’s higher Covid-19 mortality rates may be linked to harmful gender norms that impact negatively on men’s behaviour around health and risk.

However, what has also become increasingly evident is the importance of locating the gender impacts of the pandemic within a broader landscape of social and economic inequalities. Not all genders have been affected in the same ways. Approaches that recognise how gender intersects with biology, economic status, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, geography, immigration status, and religion or belief, as well as other factors such as employment, housing (and homelessness), and environmental and political factors, allow us to more completely understand how the pandemic has exacerbated and reinforced pre-existing inequalities, social norms, and socioeconomic differences.

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Women in the Workplace Important Statistics

The pandemic has shaken up pretty much everything to do with work, including the way we interact in the office (or not), our career paths, and the daily routine of our family lives. Everything is uprooted and women have been affected in a multitude of ways.

While many things feel like they're 'on hold', it's an opportunity to understand what the world of work currently holds for women, and how we can shape it for the better as we aim towards the post-pandemic world. Some big changes have happened recently, and some of these trends might surprise you a little. Here are some women in the workplace statistics for 2021 and beyond.

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COVID-19 Crisis & The Informal Economy - Gender - Report

WIEGO – Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing & Organizing

COVID-19 and the Informal Economy: Round 1 Global Summary | WIEGO

Direct Link to Full 28-Page WIEGO 2021 Report:

IDRC-WIEGO COVID-19 Study Round 1 Global Summary for web_0.pdf

The COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy Study is a WIEGO-coordinated 12-city longitudinal study that assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on specific occupational groups of informal workers and their households, with a focus on domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors, and waste pickers. It presents the key findings of the first round of the survey and interviews—conducted in June and July 2020  (mid-year)—across all 12 cities and accompanies Fact Sheets which provide city-level results in greater detail. A second round of field research will be conducted in June and July 2021 to measure the ongoing impacts of the crisis.

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2021 State of the World's Midwifery

The State of the World's Midwifery 2021 | United Nations Population Fund (unfpa.org)

The world is currently facing a shortage of around 900,000 midwives, with COVID-19 further exacerbating the situation as many have been redeployed to help plug vital gaps in other health services, according to a new United Nations report. Midwives do not just attend births, they also provide antenatal and postnatal care and a range of sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, detecting and treating sexually transmitted infections, and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents, all while ensuring respectful care and upholding women’s rights.

Direct Link to Full 80-Page 2021 Report:

21-038-UNFPA-SoWMy2021-Report-ENv4302_0.pdf

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