Gender & COVID-19: Care-giving and casual employment

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Gendered norms mean that many women have become primary caregivers and are most likely to be impacted by COVID-19 unemployment and wage loss. The gendered impacts of this can be long-lasting.


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With the closure of schools and workplaces, additional at-home caregiving responsibilities will, and have, largely fallen on women due to gendered norms.

On average, women earn less than men and having to take on these additional unpaid responsibilities at home means they may not have, or may lose, financial autonomy and/or power in decision-making. Furthermore, women are more likely to be in casual or part-time employment which means they are more susceptible to wage loss and unemployment as a direct result of COVID-19.

Response strategies and efforts must adopt a gender lens and acknowledge the unequal representation of women in the casual/part-time workforce, and the short-term and long-term impacts of additional caregiving responsibilities on women’s empowerment and economic independence.

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