Latin American women seem to face worse conditions during this crisis. They have a lower labor force participation, and unemployment affects them more than men. In addition, women labor is mostly concentrated in vulnerable sectors with low productivity. On the other hand, the crisis has exacerbated the informality of work to which women have historically been linked to, and has evidenced occupational segregation based on gender, in which women are concentrated in less specialized, more precarious, and more vulnerable economic sectors (CIM, 2020). Structural inequalities have deepened today in the face of quarantine and social distancing measures taken by governments to contain the virus, and deepened by the reality that women experience in the face of unpaid care work. According to different studies, it is shown that women assume three times more than men for unpaid household work and care, further distancing them from the labor market.
With Latin America and the Caribbean being the region with the highest levels of inequality, between 2002 and 2017, the femininity index of households living in poverty increased, reaching 113 women for every 100 men (ECLAC, 2019). Everything indicates that the socio-economic crisis derived from the current pandemic will accentuate the feminization of poverty in our continent. The Global Gender Gap Report (2020) indicates that, at the current rate, it will take 59 years to close the gender gaps in Latin America and the Caribbean.
How to ensure the labor reintegration of women without risking further setbacks in the progress achieved up to date? What challenges does the emergence of dependent care pose in the face of women's economic empowerment? How does the economic crisis impact the lives of women?
On these issues, we will seek analytical perspectives that contribute to decision-making around the economic reactivation of the region to ensure that women are not left behind.
- Alejandra Mora Mora, Executive Secretary of the CIM/OAS
- Alma Espino, Researcher, School of Economics and Administration, University of the Republic of Uruguay.
- Ricardo Ernst, Executive Director, Latin America Leadership Program, Georgetown University
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