Has the Corona crisis increased the inequalities between the sexes?

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Ein the gap there can be a gap, a gap or a rift. Gender divides are constantly tearing open between men and women in private relationships, for example when one of them just doesn’t understand the other, or when parking, when one of them says: You can easily get in there, and the other gives up anyway after crazy cranking and prefer to curve through Frankfurt-Bornheim for another quarter of an hour until she has found a parking space suitable for the woman behind the wheel.

Was that a gender-unfair entry into the topic of women and the pandemic? Hopefully not. Because it is not the intention of this text to widen the gap between men and women. But to fill it up a little to switch between the Corona years 2020 and 2021.

That seems sorely needed. The gap debate, which was also held in the Rhein-Main area in the seemingly endless Corona period, is not about entertainment-literary-biological comparisons between Mars and Venus and findings such as the alleged inability of men to listen. Rather, men and, above all, women talk about social grievances that would have become particularly visible in the Corona crisis, and would even have worsened. Mostly gender gaps are mentioned, not so much gender gaps: Gender Care Gap, Gender Pay Gap, Gender Time Gap and Digital Gender Gap (strangely not gender digital gap).

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Are women in the region the losers in the crisis year 2020, and will things get even worse in 2021? Anyone who listens to those who have spoken about it publicly over the past few months might believe it. Hopefully, if you listen to those who talk about it in private, you will see it in a more nuanced way.

Into old patterns

For example, an online event in December is public, but every listener participates privately in the vote that the moderator calls at the beginning. The “Netzwerk Wiedereinstieg”, an association of eight Hessian sponsors who advise, coach and qualify women when they return to work, has invited. At the beginning, the participants are asked to vote with one click: “Rollout or rollback?” 57 percent of the listeners who take part in the survey say: rollback. You see a roll backwards, into old patterns. But at least 24 percent vote in favor of “rollout”: As with newly launched products on the market, they recognize potential for development opportunities for women through Corona.

The speaker at the conference, Aline Zucco from the union-related Hans Böckler Foundation, sees more signs of the backwards role. “The crisis intensifies existing inequalities,” says the scientist. She speaks of the already existing gender time gap: in 2018 men worked eight hours more per week than women. However, the number does not reflect the unpaid work that women mostly do: cleaning, cooking, shopping, children driving to sports. When parents have to step in when daycare centers and schools are closed, according to a study by the foundation, the mothers bear the brunt. In households with at least one child under the age of 14, 27 percent of women, but only 16 percent of men, reduced their working hours to look after children. “The discrepancy is even greater for households with lower or middle income.” Zucco therefore sees a “retraditionalization” of the division of labor.



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