Covid-19 and women. A pandemic within the pandemic opinion

The history of the world teaches that the storm hits especially those most at risk. The poorest and the sick, children, women and the elderly. However, when children and the elderly share some sort of biological fragility and stumble upon a lack of protection due to physical immaturity or deterioration, the case of women is a mere cultural product. Creation of countless prejudices, driven by a persistent and divergent gender ideology.

In 2020, the UN Human Rights Council organized a virtual debate on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women. Several experts explained how quarantines and school closings contributed to an increase in gender-based violence, especially domestic violence, and spoke of an additional threat to all girls and women in the world, not because of their vulnerability, but because of the precondition -existing discrimination and inequality. For them, “it’s like a pandemic within a pandemic,” said development director Peggy Hicks.

In fact, the pandemic has had a greater impact on women than on men, as women who work more often in precarious situations are more likely to lose their jobs. Women’s jobs are more exposed to risk. The beginning of our mornings inside and outside the pandemic is very populated by women who go to work: in the factory, cleaning commercial and service rooms; in domestic service for others.

Many women run around the house trying to take on several personalities, like the poet of heteronyms: now the specialist, then the mother who takes care of the food and the baths and is still trying to explain the secrets of syntax to her son

On the other hand, many of the women who have kept their jobs are struggling with endless hours of teleworking and family help. They run through the house trying to take on several personalities like the poet of heteronyms: now the specialist, then the mother who takes care of the food and the baths and is still trying to explain the secrets of syntax to her son.

And they live the guilt that is exacerbated by what is not going well: In the family, at work, everything is always at home, in a never-perfect symbiosis.

Unfortunately, many women still have more difficult lives because of their status as women. They earn lower wages, find it difficult to reconcile family and professional life, they sacrifice the normal development of private and family life in the expectation, often in vain, of the availability and dedication with which they practice their profession , their career prospects improved.

The 2019 Gender Equality Index indicates that Portugal is the country that has made the most progress in terms of gender equality in the European Union. These advances sometimes lead us to forget the absurdity of the prohibition of certain professions or the figure of the “head of the family” embodied in a husband with protective powers. But we know that nothing can be taken for granted. And we remain vigilant when it comes to making even more progress.

Today is International Women’s Day.

In a time of so many niches, let’s celebrate this in unison by affirming equality. We praise the fertile power of diversity and together shape the tomorrow to which we are entitled.

In closing, I make the shining words of Pope Francis my: “I thank all women who try every day to build a more humane and welcoming society.”

The author writes according to the new orthographic convention

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