As the economic crisis hits, women are more likely to lose their jobs, income, savings and livelihood.
This undermines their financial independence, accelerates the underlying feminisation of poverty, leading to power imbalances that make them more vulnerable to corruption – including gender specific forms of corruption like sextortion – and less able to hold authorities and elites to account.
COVID-19 is a major threat to gender equality advances achieved in the last decades. The closure of school and childcare facilities means women have taken a disproportionate share of the childcare, home schooling and household responsibilities.
In the US and Europe, women are shouldering up to 15 hours a week of additional time
spent on child care and household tasks.
These longstanding gender inequalities in unpaid labour may inhibit paid work and career progression for mothers or even expose them to job loss. In the UK for example, evidence suggests that mothers are significantly more likely than fathers to temporarily or permanently lose their job during the pandemic.
In many regions of the world, women are also overrepresented in the informal economy, which has been hit especially hard by COVID-19 preventive measures, such as border and business closures, and travel restrictions.
Respectively, 74 per cent of African women
and 54 per cent of Latin American and Caribbean women work in the informal sector as domestic workers, street vendors, subsistence farmers, seasonal workers and many other jobs.