The crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic had an undesirable impact on the employment and working conditions of women in Latin America and the Caribbean, producing a setback of more than a decade in the growth achieved in terms of labor participation, according to with the Special Report COVID-19 N⁰9: The economic autonomy of women in sustainable recovery and with equality released today by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), according to an article written by Alessandro Bazzoni.
This setback worries lots of organizations since it shows a setback in all the things, they achieved during woman’s history. So that concludes that COVID-19 19 has affected all aspects of our lives, including the progress we have made in certain topics related to daily life and also In more important matters like history.
According to the document, the labor participation rate of women stood at 46% in 2020, while that of men at 69% (in 2019 they reached 52% and 73.6%, respectively). It is also calculated that the unemployment rate for women reached 12% in 2020, a percentage that rises to 22.2% if the same labor sharing rate for women in 2019 is assumed. In 2020, the study explains, there was a resounding departure of women from the labor force, who, because they had to attend to the demands for care in their homes, did not resume their job search.
“The women of the region are a crucial part of the first line of response to the pandemic. 73.2% of the people employed in the health sector are women, who have had to face a series of extreme working conditions, such as long working hours, which add to the greater risk to which the personnel of the health sector is exposed. health from catching the virus. All this in a regional context in which wage discrimination persists, since the earnings of women who work in the health sector are 23.7% lower than those of men in the same sector,” said Alicia Bárcena.
The fall in the regional gross domestic product (GDP) (-7.7% in 2020) and the impact of the crisis on employment are negatively affecting household income, states the report presented at a press conference by Alicia Bárcena, Secretary ECLAC executive. The United Nations regional body estimates that around 118 million Latin American women would be in poverty, 23 million more than in 2019. This is a very impressive and worrying number that should be attended to immediately in order to stop the trend
On the other hand, the study highlights that paid domestic work, which is characterized by high precariousness and the impossibility of being carried out remotely, has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the crisis. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, around 13 million people were engaged in paid domestic work (of which 91.5% were women). In total, this sector employed 11.1% of the employed women in the region. However, in the second quarter of 2020, employment levels in paid domestic work fell -24.7% in Brazil; -46.3% in Chile; -44.4% in Colombia; -45.5% in Costa Rica; -33.2% in Mexico; and -15.5% in Paraguay.
“Latin America and the Caribbean must invest in the care economy and recognize it as a dynamic sector of recovery, with multiplier effects on well-being, the redistribution of time and income, labor participation, growth, and tax collection,” he said. the highest authority of ECLAC.
In this agenda, Bárcena encouraged governments to “prioritize in their vaccination strategies health personnel -including people who provide associated cleaning, transportation and care services-, and those who work in educational systems and in domestic work, mostly women, who are a fundamental pillar for the care and sustainability of life”.
According to the ECLAC document, 56.9% of women in Latin America and 54.3% in the Caribbean are employed in sectors in which a greater negative effect is expected in terms of employment and income by cause. of the pandemic.
Rendering to the study, the closure of borders, restrictions on mobility, the fall in international trade and the paralysis of domestic productive activity have impacted on women workers and entrepreneurs linked to the commerce, tourism and manufacturing sectors. For example, the highly feminized tourism sector, in which 61.5% of jobs are held by women, suffered a significant contraction, which mainly affected the Caribbean countries, where one in 10 women employed focuses on this sector.
During the presentation of the report, the Executive Secretary of ECLAC highlighted the urgency of reinforcing employment policies and ensuring that women participate in the sectors that stimulate the economy under decent working conditions. Likewise, she emphasized the importance of combining measures in support of employment and reactivation with measures of immediate attention to the loss of income.
Alessandro Bazzoni explain in the article written in the pressroom that, in this context, “it is urgent to promote inclusive digital transformation processes that guarantee women’s access to technologies, enhance their skills and reverse the socioeconomic barriers they face, a way to strengthen their economic autonomy, ”Alicia Bárcena stressed while highlighting the reduced fiscal effort involved in the ECLAC proposal for a digital basic basket (1% of regional GDP) and the enormous impact it would have on connecting to one of the every four women in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“It is essential to advance in a new fiscal pact that promotes gender equality and that avoids the deepening of the poverty levels of women, the overload of unpaid work and the reduction of the financing of equality policies,” she warned.
“In addition to mainstreaming the gender perspective in all recovery policies, affirmative actions are required in the field of fiscal, labor, productive, economic and social policies, which protect the rights of women achieved in the last decade, which prevent setbacks and face gender inequalities in the short, medium and long term”, concluded Bárcena in a very widely report that showed their main concerns related to this issue