In Berlin International Women’s Day is an official holiday. But besides being thankful for a day off to enjoy with our families, today we would like to say “Thank you” to all women everywhere for their contributions to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 in the essential services such as health care, with the associated risk and the food supply chain and also in the work to develop vaccines.
The last year has been the most challenging for all of us and it has been especially so for women as they are more vulnerable to COVID-19–related economic effects due to existing gender inequalities.
Studies showed, that women have a 19% higher risk of losing their job due to the pandemic as they are disproportionately represented in sectors negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis, such as service and retail. Additionally, women are far more likely to find it necessary to quit their jobs to take care of their families and, with schools being closed during lockdown, educate and take care of their children at home.
The COVID-19 crisis did not only make existing gender inequalities more visible, it also amplified them. Before the pandemic women already spent about three times as many hours of unpaid domestic and care work as men, according to data provided by UN Women, and the pandemic further intensified this inequality. It is even estimated, that the pandemic could wipe out 25 years of efforts towards achieving gender equality.
Today we want to thank all women for the hard work they put into fighting this pandemic and acknowledge all the extra and unpaid work they are doing for so long and that all of us rely on so heavily. Let’s further #ChooseToChallenge gender inequality by providing flexible work time models and remote working options for men and women so we can equally distribute the burdens the pandemic has placed on us and successfully overcome the recent crisis to create a better and more equal future for all of us.