The disproportionate economic harm that the pandemic has done to women—what some are calling the “shecession”—seems to have taken many people by surprise. But longstanding inequities made women especially vulnerable.
The Gates Foundation has released new findings from the Eurasia Group and the International Labour Organisation, in conjunction with UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum, documenting why women across the globe were hardest hit and have been slowest to recover.
“It’s not just in the global north,” says Anita Zaidi, president of the Gates Foundation’s Gender Equality Division. “It’s everywhere.”
Though a similar proportion of men and women lost their jobs during the pandemic, fewer women are getting rehired, according to the new data. There will likely be 13 million fewer women employed this year than there were in 2019.
One major reason for that employment gap is that more women work in…