November 27 According to a report by Hong Kong’s Dabao, UN Women’s latest global data released on the 25th shows that during the coronavirus epidemic, women’s time spent on unpaid work such as housework and home care doubled, which may set back gender equality by 25 years.
Before the pandemic, women were burdened about 75% of the world’s 16 billion hours of unpaid work a day, three times more than men. During the epidemic, women’s time for unpaid work has at least doubled.
Although 38 surveys conducted by UN-Women mainly target low- and middle-income countries, data from other countries show a similar situation. According to the survey, many women left the workplace during the epidemic. In September alone, about 865,000 women resigned or lost their jobs, compared with 200,000 men in the same period.
“Everything we’ve spent 25 years working on that could be lost within that year,” said Batia, deputy director-general of UN Women. More and more women’s education and employment opportunities will be lost, and their physical and mental health will be damaged. She also mentioned that the burden of home care caused by the epidemic will put gender equality at risk of regressing back to gender stereotypes in the 1950s.
Wada, a brand consultant from Tokyo, said that she used to work part-time in kindergarten before the stay-at-home quarantine, but now she and her husband are working from home. The husband can concentrate on working in the room from nine to five, but he has to bear about 80% of the unpaid work at home, including homeschooling his three-year-old daughter.” The first two or three months were terrible, I reached my limit mentally almost every day, my daughter cried, and I cried.”
UN-Women also mentioned that the chain reaction of the reduction of working women not only seriously affects women’s well-being, but also affects women’s economic progress and independence. The United Nations calls on governments and businesses to face up to unpaid work and take additional measures, such as increasing family leave, additional paid leave and childcare policies.