Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day, the achievements of the women's rights movement are celebrated around the world and the discrimination against women that still exists is highlighted. Although binding international treaties such as the European Social Charter prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender and are supposed to guarantee equal rights for women and men, women are still confronted with serious social disadvantages. This imbalance is exacerbated by the fact that women are disproportionately and adversely affected by the consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic.
"The COVID-19 crisis exacerbates existing inequalities and creates new ones. Women are more affected by labor market developments, shoulder much of the crisis as frontline workers and are more exposed to the virus at work. The increase in unpaid care work and domestic violence further exacerbates the situation. Developments that have already been observed in the context of past health crises and are particularly evident at the intersections with racism and other forms of discrimination.
However, the crisis has also ensured that the systemic function of female-dominated occupational groups, for example in the health sector or retail trade, has come into public focus. In the best case, this could lead in the long term to these occupational groups finally receiving appropriate recognition. So far, however, it has been missed to translate this recognition into concrete political measures. For Austria, too, studies show that the measures, which tend to be more extensive than those in other European countries, have not been sufficient to correct the imbalance described above with regard to the consequences of the pandemic. Therefore, there is an urgent need for targeted and gender-sensitive measures to prevent women from being the big losers of the crisis and from undoing important progress on the road to equality."
The full article will be available on AW-Blog here (available only in German). The article was produced as part of a cooperation project between the Austrian Chamber of Labor and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR), funded by the AK Science Network.
Also recently published on the AW-blog has been the article of Karin Lukas and Vincent Perle on European welfare states in the COVID-19 crisis.