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  • Women make up fifty percent of the global population,

  • yet they often struggle to achieve economic equality

  • or even the same level of political freedom as men.

  • And despite some progress over the last few decades towards female empowerment,

  • the coronavirus pandemic has undone some of this progress.

  • So why are women struggling more than men?

  • The gender gap describes the differences that men and women face in their daily lives,

  • from finding a job and salary prospects to their intellectual and political prospects.

  • In 2020, the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index,

  • which measures differences in health, education, economics and politics between men and women,

  • showed that while no country has achieved full gender parity,

  • the top 3 countries: Iceland, Norway and Finland, have narrowed the divide.

  • But the index also showed that countries such as Jordan, Turkey, Japan and Hungary

  • have more work to do to ensure both genders have similar opportunities.

  • And whilst there has been a clear narrowing of the divide in health and education,

  • this index shows that women's participation in politics and the economy still falls short.

  • Globally, women make 77 cents for every dollar that men earn for work of equal value.

  • And the coronavirus pandemic is making life even more difficult for women.

  • Although they make up just 39% of the global workforce, they represented 54% of the overall job losses as of May.

  • This contrasts with previous recessions which impacted male workers more severely.

  • But traditionally male-dominated industries such as construction and manufacturing

  • have continued to operate closer to their pre-pandemic levels

  • while sectors which have a greater representation of women,

  • such as hospitality and retail, have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

  • In the U.S., women make up 52% of the hospitality workforce,

  • but accounted for 54% of job losses in the sector in April 2020.

  • And despite accounting for only 48% of the retail workforce in the U.S.,

  • women made up 61% of job losses. Even in the education and health services sector,

  • where women form the majority of employees, they accounted for 83% of job losses in the same period.

  • At the same time, stay-at-home orders in many countries have meant that children were unable to go to school as usual.

  • This has increased the burden on women, who have had to juggle increased

  • childcare responsibilities with their professional lives.

  • For women who are self-employed or working informally, such as domestic workers or street vendors,

  • the challenges posed by the coronavirus shock are even greater because of the precariousness of their jobs.

  • They are also more likely to find it difficult to access credit in order to rebuild their careers.

  • Even women who have kept their jobs have faced reduced prospects of promotion.

  • One study has shown that 34% of men working remotely with kids at home were promoted,

  • compared to only 9% of the women in the same situation.

  • Reduced gender equality could worsen the economic damage occurring across the globe.

  • Without action, the Covid-19 induced gender gap could shave off a trillion dollars from global growth in 2030.

  • This is because increased female participation in the labor force boosts productivity and increases wages for all workers.

  • A larger workforce also increases government tax revenues,

  • which can then be invested back in infrastructure and medical care.

  • Allowing women the flexibility to choose their careers

  • isn't just preferable for those who gain the freedom to follow their interests,

  • but it's also beneficial for the wider economy as their skills can be deployed in appropriate jobs.

  • That's why institutions like the International Monetary Fund

  • have called on governments to step up their support for female workers.

  • These measures could include passing more favorable parental leave laws for both genders,

  • subsidising childcare costs, and improving access to education.

  • The benefits of narrowing the gender gap reach everybody, not just women.

  • Gender diverse companies are more likely to outperform their peers

  • and more equal societies gain from higher economic and social development.

  • In times of economic uncertainty, these advantages may be more valuable than ever.

  • Hi everyone. Thank you so much for watching.

  • If there are any topics you would like us to cover in 2021, let us know in the comments section,

  • and don't forget to subscribe. I will see you soon.

Women make up fifty percent of the global population,

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B1 gender workforce gap economic education index

Why do women have fewer opportunities than men? | CNBC Explains

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    Summer posted on 2020/12/22
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