What is it about?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made inequalities between men and women at work and home more obvious and worse. Many people lost their jobs during the pandemic, and more than half of those affected were women. Many women work in different shifts in areas like retail and food services. When lockdowns happened, these jobs were hit the hardest. So, women ended up with bigger cuts to their paychecks. Women have been on the frontline in jobs like healthcare and childcare as well, risking their lives to keep society going. Yet, these jobs are often undervalued and underpaid. Many women had to keep working even though they were at a higher risk of getting infected. Moreover, when schools and childcare centers shut down, women had to take on even more responsibilities at home. This added to their work and home duties. In addition, being confined to home meant a higher risk of facing domestic violence. This article introduces research published in a special issue that highlights the above challenges faced by women. It proposes ways to address these challenges and move toward a more equitable society after the pandemic.

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Why is it important?

The pandemic has shown that many jobs are still divided by gender, with some jobs seen as less important and paying less because they are mostly done by women. It has made it clear that women often do more work at home, like taking care of children or older people. This makes it harder for women to have the same opportunities at work as men. Summarizing the research in the special issue articles, this introductory article highlights the major themes that suggest ways to help establish an equitable recovery of society after the pandemic. KEY TAKEAWAY: The pandemic showed us the importance of addressing gender inequalities at work and home, and that we have the opportunity to make positive changes for a better future for everyone. This research relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals: • SDG 5: Gender Equality • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

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This page is a summary of: Workplace gender equality in the post-pandemic era: Where to next?, Journal of Industrial Relations, August 2021, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/00221856211035173.
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