Achieving an equal future for women in a Covid-19 world
This year's International women's day (IWD) is being celebrated at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has devasted many achievements the world had so far made. From a health crisis, the pandemic has turned into an economic and social problem. Hence, it has not only reduced economic progress and squeezed individual income, it has disrupted every aspect of human lives in all possible ways. The impact of the pandemic on women has been disproportionate. Women have experienced increased violence, have lost jobs and income, and took more burden of work at home. Girls dropped out of schools and got married at an early age risking their health. So, on the whole, the pandemic has taken away much of the achievements that were made in case of women's empowerment. Many successes have been reversed.
Now, more than a year after the beginning of the outbreak and with vaccination rolling out, an economic recovery is expected to be on the horizon. However, this recovery will not happen at the same pace for everyone. Economists have suggested that the recovery from the pandemic will be "K" shaped. This means that while the larger and stronger businesses will be able to rebound fast, the smaller and weaker ones will lag behind. Women fall in the second category. Women are mostly engaged in micro, small and medium enterprises. Their businesses are often informal in nature. With limited access to finance, they are not being able to recover from the economic shock of the pandemic. So, they will still be struggling while others move ahead.