The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of us, but to differing extents. Overstretched health care systems, curfews, unemployment and school closures are posing challenges and pushing people beyond their ability to cope. The consequences of the pandemic will be felt in both, the short and long term. However, the longer term health, economic and social impact can only be estimated at present. In order to make decisions on governing the pandemic that assist people in different circumstances, it is important to take into account various perspectives and consider alternative measures. Decisions on governing the pandemic must be inclusive and oriented to the global common good. However, it is questionable whether this criterion is always fulfilled.
The following trends have been observed in many countries in regard to gender as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: while more men experience severe cases of the virus and are more likely to die, women bear the brunt of the economic and social consequences of the pandemic. At the global level, more women than men work in the informal sector – an area more heavily affected by the current crisis. Thus they are losing their livelihoods more often than their male counterparts. Additionally, the average number of women working in systemically important medical or care professions is higher than that of men. Women do more unpaid care work; they are the ones who in most cases currently are taking on the role of looking after the children. The risk of domestic violence is also increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the most vulnerable family members. Additionally, the UN Secretary-General has expressed in this context his concern regarding the situation of the LGBTI community. All of these factors reveal problem areas which existed before the pandemic, but which are now most likely being intensified – interestingly, without any obvious differences between the global South and the global North.
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This blog first appeared on the DIE site.
Author: Andrea Cordes, Jacqueline Götze, DIE.
Image courtesy of craftivist collective via Flickr.
The views are those of the author and not necessarily those of ETTG.