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Coronavirus: Which gender is most affected – and why

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According to unemployment rates, women have shown much better recovery than men during the pandemic. 

Many have named the economic collapse of the pandemic as “she-cession” (She+ recession), citing the impact on women. However, such a generalisation is a problem. The biggest victims in the U.S. are African-American and Latino women. To improve their conditions, Joe Biden’s new administration and Congress will have to study new programs to address their problems.

From April’s 16.2% and 2.5% above men’s unemployment, women’s unemployment stood at 6.4% in November, compared with 6.9% for men. However, unemployment among the aforementioned female minorities stood at 8.2% for Latinos and 9.0% for African-Americans.

But why is there this imbalance in statistics? One reason is racial segregation. The two women’s groups usually work in jobs affected by the pandemic, such as in small and medium-sized retail and tourism businesses, while usually stay far away from their workplace. Without teleworking skills, these women were forced to risk their lives, and unfortunately, they had much higher Covid rates than Caucasian workers.

The situation in minority households is even more difficult when you consider that women usually have the burden of supporting them.

So what can be done? Authorities should first establish safe testing and precautionary practices in the workplace as well as in schools and kindergartens. Teachers should be considered as the first line of the pandemic and should be vaccinated early, especially in institutions in poor areas. 

A vaccine campaign should also be launched in the poorest areas as these communities have good reasons not to trust the authorities. The Biden administration already seems to want to fight the coronavirus more actively than Trump, especially for minorities. All that remains is a proper implementation of these strategies.

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