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Covid Could Push Women's Progress In The Workplace Back 'Almost A Decade'

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Covid Could Push Women's Progress In The Workplace Back 'Almost A Decade'

Women's progression in the workplace is expected to decline for the first time in almost a decade as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The annual Women in Work Index by the multinational professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that all countries made consistent gains towards women's economic empowerment in the past nine years.

The latest data from the Women in Work index predicts progress for women in the workplace expected to fall more than 2 per cent between 2019 and 2021 (Credit: Unsplash)
The latest data from the Women in Work index predicts progress for women in the workplace expected to fall more than 2 per cent between 2019 and 2021 (Credit: Unsplash)

However, the latest data - published on Tuesday - predicted this trend would be reversed due to Covid-19, with progress for women in the workplace expected to fall more than 2 per cent between 2019 and 2021.

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PwC estimates women's progression will not begin to recover until 2022, inews reports, but in order to undo the damage caused by the pandemic to women in work by 2030 the "progress towards gender equality needs to be twice as fast as its historical rate".

In January, a survey from trade union group TUC spoke to 50,000 women, and uncovered over 70 per cent of working mums who requested furlough in the wake of school closures had their requests refused.

Bosses were able to furlough parents who can't access childcare since April last year, but more than seven out of 10 working mothers have not been offered this provision.

It also found that 167 fathers had asked for furlough, compared to a staggering 3,100 mothers surveyed. However, 75 per cent of dads had had their request refused, while 71 per cent of mums were told no.

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PwC estimates women's progression will not begin to recover until 2022 (Credit: Unsplash)
PwC estimates women's progression will not begin to recover until 2022 (Credit: Unsplash)

The TUC survey was sent to all parents, but just seven per cent of those who responded (2,660) were men, proving just how disproportionately this affects women.

Data summarised in a UN Women report From Insights to Action: Gender Equality in the wake of COVID-19, shows that the pandemic will push 96 million people into extreme poverty by 2021, 47 million of whom are women and girls.

In the UK last week, a campaign was launched by family support charity Family Action and Red Letter Days that aims to reclaim 100,000 hours of "mumpaid" labour on behalf of hard-working mums.

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Women have been refused furlough during lockdown and many mums have had to balance childcare and work commitments (Credit: Unsplash)
Women have been refused furlough during lockdown and many mums have had to balance childcare and work commitments (Credit: Unsplash)

The campaign aims to claim back 100,000 hours of 'mumpaid labour' before Mother's Day 2021: helping improve maternal mental health, encourage families to spend quality time together, and showing parents that their efforts over the last year haven't gone unnoticed.

Christine Ducker, PR & Brand Communications Manager at Red Letter Days, says: "We want the nation to help us claim back 100,000 hours of 'mumpaid labour', so that those who've worked so tirelessly this year can enjoy some well-deserved time for themselves.

"If you've been juggling childcare, work responsibilities and the health of family members, we also encourage you to use this campaign to take time out to do something you love."

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Life News, News, Life

Gregory Robinson
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