Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant a Political Analyst’s View on Covid-19 Impact on WomenJune 22, 2020
Women leaders across the globe have demonstrated exceptional leadership during Covid-19, thereby attracting praise across the board. For instance, in the political arena, women politicians such as Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand prime minister, the chief medical officers Bonnie Henry and Theresa Tam. Moreover, across the world, there is universal acceptance that the perspective of women must drive the response against this pandemic. Thus, attention to domestic violence, which is rapidly happening during this crisis, is an excellent area for women in leadership to address. However, what impact will this pandemic have on women’s political influence? For instance, in the coming years’ post-corona-virus, will there be more female leaders, or will the number reduce?
Currently, women constitute only 25% of legislators globally and 29% in Canada House of Commons. According to Goodyear, the critical hindrance for women gaining political office is nomination and recruitment, not general elections. Research shows that women are less likely to seek political office than their male counterparts. Moreover, political parties are less likely to sponsor, nominate, and recruit women candidates than men. Besides, political recruitment requires enormous resources in terms of professional connections, time, and money. Thus, social hierarchy, cultural practices, and economic status impact the decision to seek political office.
Women Lack Resource Capacity
Women run less often for office because they lack enough resources to sustain rigorous political campaigns. Moreover, according to preliminary data on Covid-19 impacts suggest those inequities will escalate. Research on Canadian job report shows that women in Canada suffered massive job losses than their male counterparts since corona-virus erupted early this year, and a similar trend is rife in the insurance, real estate, finance, and service sectors. Among core employees aged 25-54 years, women represent 70% of job losses. Thus, there is a need for governments to support these women by giving them incomes and subsidies to compensate for any damages. However, concerns about women’s future career trajectories and economic wellbeing are warranted.
Similarly, for women who have sustained their employment, they too experience pandemic pressures. Daycare centers and schools have all closed down. Parents are now required to engage heavily with homeschooling and child care activities. Moreover, according to various cultures across the globe, women must take care of relatives, neighbors, and friends. Simply put, women shoulder disproportionately all concerns and social responsibilities. For instance, the Canadian General Social Survey indicates that women spend 47% of their time every day on house-chores than men. Thus, women spent 2.8 hours every day while men spent 1.9 hours.
Moreover, the research showed that women spent 64% more hours on routine childcare tasks. The study also showed that women spent 70% of the hours each day taking care of other adults. Thus, as care demands escalate during the corona-virus pandemic, it is reasonable that women have taken the lead role in various household activities.
Disruption of Career Paths
Care for children and homes is a rewarding activity for both genders. However, the danger lies on the inequitable care patters laid-down long before this pandemic started, it will continue to have devastating outcomes. For example, it includes significant interruptions of women’s career paths, achievements, and diminished energy, time, and resources for political activities. Thus, it will ultimately contribute even to post Covid-19. Perhaps, things will improve, and women candidates will experience better things post the pandemic. Maybe, flexible work arrangements and agreements will persist. Thus, it will permit more women to combine career ambitions, care taking, and political endeavors. For instance, legislatures could create flexible workplaces, which would allow remote voting and sitting, which would benefit women greatly.