Photo: Graham Hughes, The canadian Press
Women are more likely to work in economic sectors which require the exchange in person, such as the retail, tourism and hospitality, particularly affected by the crisis.
The crisis created by the pandemic of sars coronavirus threat a part of the economic progress made by women in recent decades.
First to be affected by the health crisis, and by the containment measures adopted by governments to curb contagion, the women are slow also, more than men, to rely, was observed Tuesday, the international monetary Fund (IMF) in a blog co-authored, among others, by its executive director, Kristalina Georgieva.
“After 30 years of progress, the pandemic COVID-19 threat to dig again the backwardness of women on men in terms of economic opportunities “, there says it.
Observable as well in the rich countries than in developing economies, the phenomenon is due to several factors.
One of them, he explains, is that women are more likely to work in economic sectors which require the exchange in person, such as the retail, tourism and hospitality, particularly affected by the crisis. In the developing countries, they are also over-represented in sectors of the informal economy, where wages are lower, the safety net very thin and the protection of the right to work often zero.
Women continue, also, to bear more than their share of family work and unpaid household, with an average of 2.7 hours more per day than men, and have, as such, suffered the brunt of the impact of the closure of schools and day care or precautions to be taken for the elderly parents vulnerable.
Finally, in poor countries, we have seen many young girls are forced to leave school and work to supplement the family income, mortgaging of the same kick their own long-term economic prospects, says the IMF.
It is not necessary to look far to see this difference between men and women. In its latest employment figures, two weeks ago, Statistics Canada reported that the women had returned, in June, 89% of the jobs lost since the beginning of the crisis, compared to 92% for men. More generally, when the total of unemployed workers, and people who would like to work more hours than they can, one arrives at a rate of under-utilization of the female workforce of 28 % compared to 25% on the men’s side and while normally the two rates are the same.
On the side of the workers, low paid (less than$16.03 per/hour), the level of employment of women was still at 75 % of its level in the month of February, compared with 85 % for men.
In parents of children under 18 years of age, 14.3% of women reported working less than half their usual hours compared to only 8.7% in men.
Fallen in April, to a rate of participation in the labour market who had not been as low (55 %) since the mid-80s, the Canadian may have a long and difficult slope to go up, warned, last week, an analysis of the royal Bank of Canada.
“It is alarming that the role of disproportionate women in the most affected sectors by the recession, combined with the continued uncertainty about the availability of schools and nurseries in the fall, that the ground lost will not be recovered easily. “
Recovery of the feminine
The royal Bank is not the only one to insist on the importance of the question of custody of children for the future, not only for the workers but for the economy as a whole.
“Child care will be the secret sauce of the economic recovery “, said last month the economist Armine Yalnizyan, a research fellow at the Atkinson Foundation, before the standing committee on Finance of the House of commons in Ottawa.
Child care will be the secret sauce of the economic recovery
— Armine Yalnizyan
With an economy that is based 56 % on the consumption of households, and of women, who comprise a significant share of this purchasing power, she argues, ” it may not be Canada’s economic recovery without recovery in the female, and there will be no recovery in the feminine, without care. “
“The harsh reality of the pandemic is that the economic downturn threatens to bring down the advancement of equality of women a generation back “, warned Tuesday, a researcher from the canadian Centre for policy alternatives, Katherine Scott, before pressing the governments to take account of the uneven impact of the crisis and to call, in turn, to the establishment of a public system of child care services in Canada.