The publication “COVID-19 in the lives of women: A Global Care Emergency” analyses the effects of the pandemic and proposes actions
The EUROsociAL+ project, funded by the European Union which the FIIAPP is involved in managing, has collaborated with the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the publication and presentation of the new issue: “COVID-19 in the lives of women: A Global Care Emergency”.
This report came about in response to the increase in inequality in the distribution of domestic and care tasks, as well as the increase in the unpaid workload that women are doing due to the health, social and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, which has shown that the workload inside and outside the home falls largely on women.
The paper analyses the role of women in the functioning of domestic and productive life and how this impacts their lives and the economy. The CIM/OAS proposes that governments develop strategies that turn the aforementioned risks into opportunities around five axes: the right of people to receive care; the support of social protection systems for families; greater participation of men in care; links with productive sector value chains; and care as a cross-cutting axis.
The publication warns of the negative effects on the lives of women such as physical exhaustion, adverse effects on mental health such as stress, anxiety and depression, the greater difficulty of staying in the labour market and the risk of a decline in the rights achieved by women. It also makes specific recommendations to combat the effects of the pandemic.
During the presentation of the publication, the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, highlighted that, “this document, made available to Member States, is a strategic and practical tool for taking measures, which emphasises that care involves all areas of life, both family and economic”.
For her part, the CIM Executive Secretary, Alejandra Mora, emphasised that, “when we assign women the sole and primary responsibility for care and domestic work, we are immediately limiting their entry into or continuation in the labour market. We cannot allow the human talent of half the population to be lost. It is essential to take measures and design urgent public policies in the social and economic spheres and in matters of co-responsibility”.
Speaking on behalf of the European Commission, Jolita Butkeviciene, director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, stressed that, “Covid-19 has called into question the resilience of our societies; it has had a more serious impact on people who were already vulnerable. It has dealt a major blow to the advancement of women’s rights, both in Europe and in Latin America. The response to the pandemic must take place in a multilateral spirit, in cooperation with strategic allies. The European Union is therefore pleased to be able to collaborate with the CIM/OAS through its EUROsociAL+ programme”.
The CIM/OAS is the main political forum in Latin America that has fought, since its creation in 1928, to achieve recognition for women’s rights and gender equality.