Seven in 10 workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic are female yet women are left out of many COVID-19 response and recovery plans, according to a global survey published on Thursday.
The survey, by New York-based women’s rights advocacy group Women Deliver and Paris-based research organisation Focus 2030, gathered the views of 17,000 men and women in 17 countries.
Most wanted women to have a greater say and worried the pandemic had set back progress on equal rights.
“People around the world recognise that gender equality is an issue of our time and that it is an issue that has been [made] more urgent by COVID-19,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of UN Women, at a virtual launch.
Eight in 10 respondents said women should be involved in COVID-19 health response and recovery efforts at all levels, including in the development of policies and treatments.
Yet while women account for 70 percent of front-line workers, including in teaching and healthcare roles, the world’s response to the coronavirus crisis has largely failed to include women, researchers found.
The poll cited research showing that in 30 countries, women account for just a quarter of decision-makers on COVID-19 response panels that are tasked with determining how to handle the health emergency and its economic fallout.
Just 20 percent of the World Health Organization’s emergency committee members are women, it said, even though “preliminary evidence” revealed response efforts had better results when women are involved.
Research by the World Bank and United Nations shows that fallout from the pandemic weighs on women in a host of ways, such as rising levels of domestic violence or lower earnings as some women are forced to cut back on paid work to take on care duties at home.
Mlambo-Ngcuka said the long-term fallout is a concern.
“We know that COVID-19 threatens to roll back even the limited and hard-won gains that women have made,” she said.
An additional 47 million women worldwide will fall into extreme poverty — living on less than $1.90 a day — in 2021 because they are over-represented in hard-hit sectors, such as domestic and restaurant workers, according to the UN.
“We have to demand [that] relief measures are targeted to women and girls,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Eight in 10 people surveyed, men included, believe improving women’s rights is a priority, with that figure rising to 90 percent and higher in Kenya, Mexico, Colombia, South Africa and India.
Three in five respondents said tackling gender equality is essential to end poverty and want their governments to do more.
The top priority for respondents is tackling gender-based violence, including online harassment, sexual assault, forced and child marriage and female genital mutilation.
Respondents to the poll identified three main drivers of inequality: unequal distribution of unpaid care, different work opportunities and the role of religion and culture.
“This survey shows us where the world has fallen short, but it also delivers the encouraging news that the vast majority of women and men around the world expect their leaders to take action to advance gender equality,” Divya Mathew, senior manager of policy and advocacy at Women Deliver, said in a statement.
He urged employers to embrace more flexible, hybrid working arrangements. Multi-Ministry Taskforce co-chair and Education minister Lawrence Wong has alluded that a full work-from-home setup is not doable, citing the need for human collaboration, during a dialogue as part of an Institute of Policy Studies conference. “You cannot function effectively without that human collaboration and that social interaction.
They are still considering whether such measures are necessary. Singapore might implement tighter measures ahead of the Chinese New Year due to the rise of community cases roughly a few weeks after the year-end festive period, Multi-Ministry Taskforce co-chair Lawrence Wong told the media in an interview. He added that they are still studying what the exact measures will be, and are taking careful consideration of its necessity. “We are…
Singapore—Calling it the “soul of the community,” Dr Tan Cheng Bock has joined the voices in appealing for the preservation of Dover Forest. The secretary-general of Progress Singapore Party (PSP) wrote, “Dover Forest is a green lung that breathes soul to surrounding neighbourhoods. We often take for granted how nature can rally people together in a […]
Singapore—Former DJ Jade Rasif is saying goodbye to Covid. Ms Rasif, who started working on the frontlines as a health worker last year, took to Instagram Stories on Tuesday (Jan 25) to post all about her experience in getting vaccinated for Covid-19. She wrote that she was “getting vaccinated along with the rest of the […]
Singapore — Ms Parti Liyani, the domestic helper whose acquittal on appeal of theft made headlines last year, flew home to Indonesia on Wednesday morning (Jan 26). A photo of Ms Parti, 46, at the airport departure area, surrounded by a small group there to see her off, was posted on the Facebook page of […]
After receiving an electricity and gas bill for more than S$1,000, a couple took to social media to ask others for advice on what to do. The netizen, who wished to be anonymous, rented a 4-room flat from the Housing Development Board (HDB) itself while awaiting the completion of their Build-To-Order flat. According to a […]
Singapore — High Court Judge Aedit Abdullah has reprimanded a lawyer for portraying a 13-year-old girl as promiscuous and the initiator of intimacy in a 2017 underage sex case. In the appeal hearing on Monday (Jan 25), the judge also increased the prison sentence of the offender, a 26-year-old former Nanyang Technological University (NTU) undergraduate. […]
You think I’d crumble? You think I’d lay down and die? Oh no, not I, I will survive. This article, Karaoke king TeoHeng wants you to know that its song will go on, for now, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.
Singapore — An architect and his wife have been prosecuted for trespassing and building on state land. Tan Teck Siong and Cheah Mee Poh were fined a total of S$7,000 for building the main gate, driveway, walls, a fence and a part of the pool of their property in Seletar in an enclosed area on […]
Singapore—When they receive good service, people write thank you notes, or leave good reviews. But one woman, who works for energy drink company Red Bull, was so thankful for the excellent service she got while serving a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at a hotel that she sent the staff a case of Red Bull drinks. The […]