#9 Gender Equality in Times of a Pandemic: Countering the Regressive Effects (12/03/2021)

#9 Gender Equality in Times of a Pandemic: Countering the Regressive Effects (12/03/2021)

/소식/뉴스레터/#9 Gender Equality in Times of a Pandemic: Countering the Regressive Effects (12/03/2021)
CTMS Weekly brings to you the insights and lessons shared during the 2021 Int'l Care Economy Conference to reflect on the role of care economy as we face the upcoming challenges in building back better and achieving a more equal society post pandemic.

COVID-19 continues to affect lives and livelihoods around the world. Two years later, we know the following: The economic fallout derived from the pandemic is having a regressive effect on gender equality. Women and girls are increasingly more likely to face poverty, economic insecurity, gender-based violence, and barriers to accessing critical health services. They are also disproportionately bearing the burden of increases in unpaid care and domestic labor due to a global contraction of the care sector. 

This week, we dive into the topic of care economy and its impact on achieving gender equality. Join the conversation with Anita Bhatia on why fostering a care economy is crucial for girls and women across the world to recover. Following her keynote speech, we bring you a dynamic group of top scholars and experts for an in-depth discussion on the topics of:
  • Care and social reproduction in macroeconomics
  • 'Socialization' of care
  • Aggravated challenges of migrant care workers
Increased childcare burden under the pandemic has prompted 52% of women in South Korea to want to quit their jobs and more than 2.5 million women in the US actually leaving the labor force. Anita Bhatia, addressing the intensified attention to women's unpaid and domestic work worldwide, reflects on the need to support the capacity of governments to contain the immediate fallout of the pandemic on women, and directs our attention to the vital importance of developing the care economy.
Listen to her full speech in this video.

"When women stop, the whole world stops, everything stops."

-Kavita Ramdas
Director at Women's Rights Program at Open Society Foundations
Moderated by Prof. Ki-Soo Eun, this discussion encourages us to think about the caring economy not as an extrinsic force but as part of an economy that values reciprocity between equality and wellbeing.

Prof. Elissa Braunstein kicks off this thought-provoking panel discussion by explaining the dynamics between gender, care and social reproduction. She pinpoints four possible growth scenarios based on the demand of care and the distribution of social reproduction. To this note, Dr. Jiyeun Chang describes the concept of ‘socialization’ of care and examines the dimensions of re-familialization of care and re-commodification of care, to find the best set of combinations that will help achieve gender equality.

Prof. Ito Peng brings back the discussion to care, but this time focused on migrant care workers. She suggests investing in local and national care capacities to lessen the dependency on global care worker pipelines. Mr. Shin Sung-Sik points out the lack of care force supply considering the increasing burden of elderly care in Korea. He calls for more investment in care infrastructure and quality, as well as an increase in wages for care providers.

Finally, Dr. Kavita Ramdas gives recognition to care and health workers on the frontlines of combating COVID-19. She reflects on how this pandemic highlighted the importance of caregivers, especially girls and women, who carried most of the burden throughout the world.
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