Fewer women will rejoin workforce than men amid COVID-19 recovery
Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the level of employed women falling by 4.2% globally, or 54 million jobs, while men suffered a 3% decline, or 60 million jobs, highlights the International Labour Organization (ILO) in a report.
In 2021, there will be 13 million fewer employed women as compared to 2019, but the number of employed men will likely recover to levels seen two years ago, it said.
This translates to only 43% of the world’s working-age women that will be employed in 2021, compared to 69% of male workers.
ILO attributes this to women being over-represented in sectors hit hard by the pandemic, which include accommodation, food services and manufacturing.
To address such imbalances in the workforce, gender-responsive strategies must be employed, said ILO, such as investing in the care economy as health, social work and education sectors are important job generators for women.
Care leave policies and flexible working arrangements can also encourage a more even division of work at home between women and men, ILO added, while promoting equal pay for work of equal value as a measure to narrow the gender gap.