The Covid-19, great leap backwards for the employment of women

Le Covid-19, grand bond en arrière pour l’emploi des femmes

They lose their job, resign or are more children in private school than men: the economic shock of massive pandemic coronavirus was like a great leap backwards for the employment of women.

“Women, because of their overrepresentation in the service sector, have been hit disproportionately by the Covid-19”, points out C. Nicole Mason, director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a think-tank american.

“In the United Kingdom and the United States, women are more likely to have lost their jobs than men,” they are sacked or forced to resign to take care of their children to private school, ” says Chris Rauh, a professor of economics at the university of Cambridge, questioned by the AFP.

They are more present in the most precarious jobs, or the sectors particularly affected by the containment measures put in place to combat the coronavirus, such as catering, hospitality, events, hairdressing salons, etc

Even when they retain their employment, mothers confined were requested more than men for the care of children and… of household work, notes the Institute for studies budget (IFS), a british think tank, in a study published last week.

Sarah, who works in the film industry in London, sleep until 1am every day, to keep its maturities when his son and daughter are in bed. A journalist of a major media outlet in britain is up, she, at 5: 30 every day to advance his work before the rise of the children.

“I have not dared to apply for a development job, I don’t want to say that I can’t do it,” admits Sarah.

It is worse for single parents, as Isabelle, who wants also to remain anonymous out of fear for his job: “At the beginning of the containment, it was awful,” says the Parisian, who works in the pharmaceutical industry.

“I couldn’t organize myself between the video conference, the remote school, the meals, the household, at what time to stop working the evening,” she adds, telling about having lived a real “marathon”.

Now that the activity restarts, “for my managers, return to work exactly as before. They come from a different generation and it is never them who have managed children. They are equipped with state-not that it has not had the same experience of confinement and that I am exhausted”.

“Among my friends separate, in the vast majority, it is still mothers who are employed, children during this period. We came back to fifty years ago,” said Isabelle.

The center of reflection on the equality of men and women, Fawcett has written to the Prime minister Boris Johnson is to ask for aid to nurseries, many of which have found themselves in financial difficulty because of the confinement, without which “fewer women will be able to return to work”.


A group of scientists of international renown has even published a rant last week in the Times of Higher Education to denounce the “sexism” and the return of the “patriarchy” which they say they faced since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We are concerned that the progress of high struggle by the women in science are part of the collateral damage of this crisis”, warned they.

They also take to the media, accused of soliciting men to speak of the epidemic, even in low-skilled, at the expense of real experts.

In April, Elizabeth Hannon, assistant managing editor of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, has also moved on Twitter to the number “insignificant amount of work received for publication of the share of women in the past month,” claiming to have “never seen it”.

“Looks like the little progress that there was going to be lost,” said Erika Kispeter, a professor at the university of Warwick. Example: the obligation to publish pay gaps between male and female for large enterprises has been suspended in Britain because of the pandemic.

Few positive points: teleworking is widespread, and the IFS pointed out that it might help the careers of mothers … when their children have returned to school.

And if men made less than women, they are still more than before. “With everyone in the house, the men had to get out there,” notes Erika Kispeter.

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