On this mini-episode of Stuff Mom Never Told You, Anney and Samantha take a renewed look at how women are doing during this pandemic. Early on in the year, they discussed some of the potential impacts of the pandemic specifically on women’s daily lives and routines, as well as their careers. But with a few months behind us, there are actual numbers to report on now, especially as kids are going back to school. And those numbers are a little scary. Unemployment isn’t falling quite as fast as it was during the nationwide lockdown, but 1 in 5 Americans have left their jobs due to childcare concerns, with women over three times more likely than men to quit or to go to part-time work so they can handle the kids. That has led to the loss of trillions of dollars in potential earnings for women across the country.
Anney cites some studies in the United States that found that women spend an average of 15 hours more a week on unpaid labor as compared to men, and that a third of employed women reported being responsible for childcare, as opposed to 7% of men; in Australia, parents are reporting spending an extra six hours a day on childcare, with women managing over two-thirds of that time; in the UK, women were found to be twice as likely to do the homeschooling, and considerably more likely to give up their jobs as compared to men with children the same age. “And this is across all wage brackets,” Anney points out. Women who are still working full-time are often pulling all-nighters three or four times a week to keep up with everything. And some women, of course, are essential workers, with no choice but to put their kids’ and their own health and safety at risk to keep the bills paid.
Not only that, but another side effect of the pandemic particularly worrisome for women is unintended pregnancies resulting from the lack of access to contraceptives or reproductive health services. The UN predicts that the pandemic could lead to up to 15 million unintended pregnancies around the world and thousands of deaths from unsafe abortions or complications during birth, and warns that “this pandemic could lead to decades of regression in gender equality” – an incredibly heartbreaking possibility. Hear more about how the pandemic is impacting women’s lives in terms of career, childcare, and what their futures hold, on this episode of Stuff Mom Never Told You.
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