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Pandemic job losses, workforce exits cost women $800B in lost income last year
Connecting the Dots – #YesThisIsAnArtsStory Repost from Bizwomen
Caitlin Mullen | 3 May 2021
A new report from
Oxfam International ties a monetary amount to the pandemic’s devastation for working women.
In 2020, women lost more than $800 billion in income globally,
CNN reports, which is more than the combined gross domestic product of 98 countries. Women around the world lost 64 million jobs last year, a 5% loss, while men’s job losses amounted to 3.9%, Oxfam notes.
“Economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic is having a harsher impact on women, who are disproportionately represented in sectors offering low wages, few benefits and the least secure jobs,” said Gabriela Bucher, executive director of Oxfam International, per a news release. “Instead of righting that wrong, governments treated women’s jobs as dispensable — and that has come at a cost of at least $800 billion in lost wages for those in formal employment.”
The amount that women lost exceeds the $700 billion Amazon gained in market capitalization and the almost $721.5 billion the U.S. government spent on defense, per Oxfam.
Calling the $800 billion estimate “conservative,” Oxfam noted it doesn’t include the wages lost by millions of women working as domestic workers, garment workers or market vendors who were sent home or saw drastic hours or wage cuts.
A majority of women in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America work in informal employment. Women around the world hold the majority of jobs in lower-paying industries like retail, tourism and food service, and about 7 in 10 health or social care workers around the world are women, per Oxfam.
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