Let's talk about the gender impact of COVID-19, especially for women and girls. (2 Impact)
Women migrant workers face gender-specific restrictions in migration policies, may have limited access to culturally-sensitive essential health services in different languages and are more prone to abuse and sexual and economic exploitation with stricter movement measures, both within nations and across borders. Women migrant workers are also more likely to hold insecure jobs in the informal economy, especially in essential but low-paid jobs as domestic workers, cleaners, laundry workers. Generally excluded from social protections and insurance schemes, this leaves them with limited or no access to health care, lost income benefits and other social and economic safety nets. For many of the 8.5 million women migrant domestic workers, the pandemic has led to loss of income and jobs with their health, safety and well-being often ignored. The economic downturn has left women migrant workers sending fewer remittances, a lifeline for families and communities in their countries of origin, especially during times of crisis.
The health crisis unleashed by COVID-19 has underlined that it is largely women’s labour that keeps global health and social care systems running. While the virus itself poses a graver health risk to men who become infected, the responsibility for caring for the sick falls disproportionately on (migrant and non-migrant) women. Women constitute over 70 per cent of global front-line health and social care workers and are more likely to be working (both paid and unpaid) on the front lines during this crisis in hospitals, in care facilities and in private homes, caring for patients affected by COVID-19.