Coronavirus puts women in the frontline
In Europe, we are all adjusting to new ways of living because of the effects of the coronavirus. We are learning what it means to self-quarantine, work from home, home-school children, lose a job or even a loved one. Each person’s situation is different, but for sure, the coronavirus will reveal the different realities of women and men.
At the frontline of this coronavirus pandemic are the healthcare workers who are working around the clock and putting themselves at risk to care for patients. Most of the nurses and healthcare workers in the EU are women. Their workload is very demanding, often taking an emotional toll. Yet their profession is one of the most undervalued, and under-paid jobs in the EU.
Men’s mortality rate is higher
Preliminary figures show that women and men are being infected by the coronavirus in about equal numbers, but the mortality rate is higher for men than for women . The World Health Organization recommends to keep up healthy food and exercise habits to boost the immune system and avoid unhealthy ones such as smoking and consuming excessive alcohol. More men smoke than women and are therefore more likely to be at risk of developing a serious disease if infected with the virus.
Extra challenges for public transport users
Our Gender Equality Index findings show that women rely much more on public transportation than men. This puts women at greater risk of coming into contact with the virus, when they have to either get to work, visit a doctor or do the grocery shopping. This is especially the case with single parents, who are less likely to have a car due to financial reasons. 18 % of them say that public transport is the only method of transport available to them. In countries where restrictions on movement have tightened, public transport has been reduced or even shut down. This makes life more difficult for people who rely on these services and still need to get to work, visit a doctor or do the grocery shopping
Concern for severe job losses in women-dominated professions
The closure or near-closure of many businesses could have a severe effect on many women-dominated professions. Flight attendants, tour operators, sales assistants, hotel cleaners and hairdressers are often already in precarious jobs and will probably not be paid nor entitled to paid sick leave. These people are likely to have difficulty paying for basic necessities such as groceries, rent and bills in the coming days and months. EIGE’s research shows that a quarter of women employees across the EU are in a precarious job. For migrants, the situation is even worse. Nearly one in three non-EU born women (35 %) and one in four men (24 %) work in precarious jobs.
Unpaid care work will increase
Even without a crisis, caring responsibilities usually fall heavily on women. Now with the closure of schools and workplaces, their unpaid workload is likely to further increase. If older relatives get sick, they will also need looking after. The situation for single parents can be even more difficult, especially when options for informal childcare are unavailable.
Latest News from
COVID-19: EU adopts slot waiver to help airlines31/03/2020 16:43:00
The EU will suspend until 24 October 2020 the airport slot requirements which oblige airlines to use at least 80% of their take-off and landing slots in order to keep them the following year.
Statement by the European Commission following the first meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee31/03/2020 15:25:00
The European Union and the United Kingdom yesterday held their first Joint Committee meeting on the implementation and application of the Withdrawal Agreement, by means of teleconference.
Coronavirus: Commission presents practical guidance to ensure the free movement of critical workers31/03/2020 14:51:00
The Commission yesterday issued new practical advice to ensure that mobile workers within the EU, in particular those in critical occupations to fight the coronavirus pandemic, can reach their workplace.
EU mobilises immediate support for its Western Balkan partners to tackle coronavirus31/03/2020 13:25:00
As part of theglobal response to the coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission has announced up to €38 million in immediate support for the Western Balkans to tackle the health emergency caused by coronavirus and reallocation of €374 million to help the socio-economic recovery of the region.
EU research funds to fight the coronavirus31/03/2020 12:38:00
As the world struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the EU is supporting efforts to develop vaccines and effective treatments as soon as possible.
Disinformation: how to recognise and tackle Covid-19 myths31/03/2020 11:33:00
The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to disinformation that hampers efforts to contain the pandemic. Read on to find out what you can do.
Chemical hazards data and modelling boost31/03/2020 09:25:00
EFSA has updated its OpenFoodTox database which now includes toxicity data on almost 5,000 chemicals drawn from over 2,000 scientific evaluations carried out by EFSA since 2002.
Statement from Commission President von der Leyen on proposals to fight the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis30/03/2020 16:43:00
The European Council tasked the Eurogroup to come up with proposals within the next weeks.
Russia: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on listing the European Endowment for Democracy as an “undesirable organisation”30/03/2020 15:25:00
The EU rejects the decision by the Russian authorities to include the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) on their list of “undesirable organisations”.
ESMA Issues Guidance on Financial Reporting Deadlines in Light of Covid-1930/03/2020 13:25:00
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities markets regulator, has issued a Public Statement on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the deadlines for publishing financial reports which apply to listed issuers under the Transparency Directive.