Corona destroys progress in equality | Free press

Brussels (dpa) – According to a report by the European Commission, the corona pandemic is having devastating consequences for equality for women.

“In Europe and beyond, the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities between women and men in almost all areas of life and wiped out hard-won progress,” the Brussels authority said Friday.

It has also been criticized that there is a “blatant” shortage of women in the Corona crisis teams. A study that also looked at 17 EU countries found that more than 85 percent of these bodies are predominantly male.

“It is very important to involve women in these decisions,” emphasizes the report. For an effective response to the pandemic, it is important not to allow for gender-specific prejudices. Women are also at the forefront of the pandemic, but rarely hold management positions: 86 percent of healthcare nurses are women, according to the Commission.

“Although women make up the vast majority of health workers in the EU, women are being held back from leadership positions in the health sector,” he said. About 25 percent of working women worked in high-risk sectors for the corona pandemic and 20 percent of working men.

The report also describes how existing inequalities between men and women are worsening as a result of the pandemic. More women are reducing or even quitting their working hours to take care of children. “These patterns have reinforced traditional gender roles,” the report says.

In general, too, the pandemic is hitting women more than men in the labor market. According to Eurostat, unemployment among women rose from 6.9 to 7.9 percent between April and September 2020 and among men from 6.5 to 7.1 percent over the same period. With a view to pensions, for example, this could also have consequences far into the future and increase inequality between men and women for decades.

In addition, the pandemic has led to more domestic violence against women. For example, the number of reports about this in the first week of lockdown in France rose by 32 percent and in Lithuania by 20 percent in the first three weeks. “Ireland registered a fivefold increase in domestic violence cases, and Spanish authorities reported an 18 percent increase in reports in the first two weeks of the lockdown,” the European Commission said.

The Green Group in the European Parliament launched a petition on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March. Its purpose is to induce the Commission to issue a legally binding directive to prevent violence against women, including on the Internet.

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