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How We Can help Lift Unpaid Work from Women

14 March 2023

Our daily lives have undergone a tremendous transformation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly all facets of our society have been impacted, including how we live, work, and interact with one another. Despite the fact that we are all affected by the same pandemic, its impacts are not felt equally. Particularly when it comes to unpaid employment, women have disproportionately carried the burden during the pandemic.

Caregiving for children, the elderly, and ailing family members, along with housekeeping chores like cleaning and cooking, are all examples of unpaid employment. Women worldwide perform almost 80% of the hours of unpaid care work, according to the UN. In other words, women are accountable for almost 75% of unpaid work.

Women already performed more unpaid labor than males before the pandemic. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made this gender difference more pronounced. Women have had to assume extra caregiving duties as a result of lockdowns, school closings, and travel limitations. Women have had to balance employment and caring responsibilities at the same time since they have children at home and elderly relatives who are unable to leave their homes.

Because of the gender norms and obligations that society has put on them, women are performing the majority of unpaid labor during the pandemic. Women are traditionally supposed to care for the home and family while males are expected to provide for their families. Due to the fact that these roles have not altered significantly through time, women are still expected to perform the majority of caring and home duties.

Women are more likely to have flexible work schedules, which is another reason why they perform more unpaid work. Women are overrepresented in casual, part-time, and precarious employment, which limits their ability to choose their own schedules. They find it challenging to balance because of this.

The gender wage disparity has also come to light as a result of the pandemic. The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that women are more likely to work in industries like hospitality, retail, and tourism that have been severely damaged by the pandemic. Due to the considerable employment losses in these industries, women are more likely to have faced job loss or a reduction in hours worked. Due to having to take on more caregiving duties, has made their burden of unpaid labor even greater.

The mental health of women has also been impacted by the pandemic. Women's mental health has suffered as a result of the strain of balancing job and caregiving responsibilities, as well as from the isolation and unpredictability of the pandemic. A research by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that during the pandemic, women were more likely than males to report experiencing signs of anxiety and sadness.

There are significant repercussions from the gender disparity in unpaid employment. It may restrict women's access to higher education, employment possibilities, and civic engagement. Due to the fact that women are more likely to earn less money and have fewer prospects for career growth, it can also result in financial instability and poverty.

How can the gender gap in unpaid employment be closed? First and foremost, it's critical to acknowledge and honor the labor that women undertake. Unpaid labor should not be disregarded as "simply" housework but rather acknowledged as a crucial contribution to society. Second, there should be a change in how society views gender roles. Males should be encouraged to participate more actively in domestic duties and caregiving. This can be accomplished by implementing regulations that support flexible work schedules, parental leave, and reasonably priced childcare.

Thirdly, more money must be spent on social infrastructure, including things like healthcare, education, and child care. This can lessen the stress of caring for women and give them the assistance they need to juggle work and family obligations. Fourth, initiatives should be taken to support women's economic empowerment. This includes initiatives like encouragement for women's entrepreneurship, fair pay, and access to education and training.

Governments, businesses, and civil society groups can all do their part to close the gender gap in unpaid work. Women and society as a whole can benefit from policies and initiatives that advance gender equality and women's empowerment. For instance, raising the proportion of women in the workforce can increase economic growth and lower poverty. Also, it may promote greater gender parity in decision-making and a more inclusive society.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to the value of unpaid labor as well as the heavy load that women suffer in this area. Also, it has demonstrated the necessity for a more equal division of unpaid work among men and women. It is crucial to overcome the gender gap in unpaid labor and advance gender equality in all spheres of life as we seek to recover from the pandemic.

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Pro Standing Desk (E5)

The FlexiSpot E5 uses improved motor technology to be more user-friendly. Basically, its dual-motor lifting system is combined with the double crossbeam structure which ensures a smoother operation and a stable experience.

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It features an advanced keypad panel featuring three height presets, a sit-stand reminder that allows you to set a timer from 0 to 99 minutes, and an anti-collision feature that automatically stops movement when obstacles are encountered. The height range of this desk is from 24.4 to 50 inches and can be easily used by people from 4'6" to 6'7".

Final Word

Because of the fact that women are doing the majority of the unpaid labor during the pandemic, already existing gender disparities are being exacerbated. The gender pay gap in unpaid employment is a structural problem that needs to be addressed in a diverse manner. In order to achieve gender equality, it is crucial to acknowledge the value of unpaid work, combat gender stereotypes, invest in social infrastructure, and support women's economic empowerment. We can create a more just and inclusive society by doing these things.