The International Labour Organisation, in its most recent policy brief, ‘Building Forward Fairer: Women’s rights to work and at work at the core of the COVID-19 recovery’, has highlighted the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on the employment of men and women. The ILO has discovered that about 54 million women became unemployed between 2019 and 2020 as a result of the pandemic, globally. Around 60 million men also lost their jobs.
The report predicts that the employment rate for men could get restored to what it was two years ago. For women, however, the job market will not be as favourable moving forth.
The ILO report forecasts that only 43 per cent of working age women would be employed in 2021, compared to 69 per cent of their male counterparts. This means that around 13 million less women would be a part of the global workforce when compared with the year 2019.
This is due to the fact that the sectors, which have the maximum women representation — accommodation, food services and manufacturing — have been badly hit by the pandemic and would require time to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
The study shows that women’s employment was worst hit in North and South America, depreciating by almost nine per cent.