Fewer women than men to regain employment during COVID recovery: ILO

Inequalities between women and men in the job market that have been exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic will persist and there will be 13 million fewer women employed in 2021 than in 2019, while men's employment will have succeeded in recovering, an International Labor Organization (ILO) report projected on July 19. 

"Even though the projected jobs growth in 2021 for women exceeds that of men, it will, nonetheless, be insufficient to bring women back to pre-pandemic employment levels," the ILO report says.

Only 43.2% of the world's working-age women will have employment in 2021 compared to 68.6% of working-age men.

The ILO report is titled 'Building Forward Fairer: Women's rights to work and at work at the core of the COVID-19 recovery' and gives "short-term" projections.

"Domestic violence and work-related gender-based violence and harassment worsened during the pandemic, further undermining women's ability to engage in paid employment," says the report.

It shows that women have suffered disproportionate job and income losses due to their over-representation in the hardest-hit sectors such as accommodation and food services and the manufacturing sector.

Globally, between 2019 and 2020, women's employment declined by 4.2%, representing a drop of 54 million jobs, while men's employment declined by 3% or 60 million jobs.

Not the same everywhere

It was not the same in all regions, however.

The Americas experienced the most significant reduction in women's employment due to the pandemic (a decrease of 9.4%).

The second-highest drop in the number of employed women was seen in the Arab states, where between 2019 and 2020, women's employment declined by 4.1% and men's by 1.8%.


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