Economic losses due to COVID-19 have fallen heavily on women, and most dramatically on women living on low incomes who experience intersecting inequalities based on race, class, disability, education, migration, and immigration status. The pandemic crisis has revealed the fragility of response systems and the urgent need for structural rethinking and systemic change.
An historic downturn in women’s employment, compounded by uncertainty over the capacity of the fragile and fragmented childcare sector to fully reopen, is shaping up as a potential disaster for women’s economic security.
Recovery planning provides an opportunity to eliminate gender bias in economic thinking and public policy that has neglected the value of social infrastructure, and instead promoted austerity and deregulation. Transformative policies that support both paid and unpaid caring labour will be crucial to stopping the looming erosion of women’s economic and social rights. Recovery plans must centre women’s economic well-being and the experiences of diverse and marginalized communities of women.
Summary of Recommendations:
- Revitalize social infrastructure through care sector investments
- Ensure care work is decent work
- Focus public investments to transform care sectors, including:
- Long-term care
- Violence against women and gender-based violence services