By Patricia Martínez, Gaspar Ruiz-Canela and Hataiphan Tungkananukulchai
International Desk, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Although the coronavirus pandemic has killed more men it is women who are the most vulnerable to its social and economic effects, from single mothers in Thailand to domestic abuse victims in Kenya.
Women often take on the role of caregivers for children, the elderly and the sick, and during lockdown many have not only lost their jobs but have been exposed to domestic violence as well as a widening gap of systematic inequality, especially in the poorest countries.
UN Women warns in a report on the effects of Covid-19 that women do an average of 4.1 hours a day of unpaid work, such as housework or caring for dependents – triple that of men.
The unpaid care carried out by women is equivalent to 2.35 percent of the global GDP or $1.35 trillion.
In addition to occupying 70 percent of jobs in the health sector worldwide, women generally earn an average of 16 percent less than men, which rises to 35 percent in some countries.
“In the formal economy, care jobs from teachers to nurses are underpaid in relation to other sectors. In the home, women perform the bulk of care work, unpaid and invisible,” the report said.
The coronavirus lockdown has also seen many women and girls trapped with their abusers.
Complaints of domestic violence have increased during this period in countries including France at 30 percent, Argentina by 25 percent and Singapore with 33 percent, according to the report.
UN Women is calling on the international community to pay special attention to women in post-pandemic reconstruction plans because of their vulnerability and because they are the underlying support in the majority of communities.
HEAVY LIFTERS AT HOME