The pandemic recasts gender inequality

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

May 7, 2020

The pandemic recasts gender inequality


By Cathy Young,

Amid a life-and-death health emergency and an economic crisis, the culture-war issues that dominated America’s national conversation a short time ago have receded — but not completely. Some argue, for instance, that gender inequality is a more pressing issue than ever. “Feminism isn’t canceled,” proclaimed a recent tweet from the account of UN Women, the United Nations agency for women’s empowerment. Probably not; but maybe it’s finally time for a feminism based on mutual partnership and compassion, not gender warfare and female victimhood.

Yet calls for a feminist vision for the COVID-19 pandemic often boil down to “It’s worse for women.” Or, as UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Gabriela Ramos, chief of staff at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, recently wrote, “COVID-19 is affecting everybody, but it is affecting women more.” Mlambo-Ngcuka and Ramos cite the unequal burden of caregiving, both at home and in health care work, as well as women’s greater economic insecurity.

Click here to read the full article published by Boston Globe on 16 April 2020.

Focus areas: