The pandemic recasts gender inequality

Article here. Excerpt:

'Amid a life-and-death health emergency and an economic crisis, the culture-war issues that dominated America’s national conversation a short time ago have receded — but not completely. Some argue, for instance, that gender inequality is a more pressing issue than ever. “Feminism isn’t canceled,” proclaimed a recent tweet from the account of UN Women, the United Nations agency for women’s empowerment. Probably not; but maybe it’s finally time for a feminism based on mutual partnership and compassion, not gender warfare and female victimhood.

Yet calls for a feminist vision for the COVID-19 pandemic often boil down to “It’s worse for women.” Or, as UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Gabriela Ramos, chief of staff at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, recently wrote, “COVID-19 is affecting everybody, but it is affecting women more.” Mlambo-Ngcuka and Ramos cite the unequal burden of caregiving, both at home and in health care work, as well as women’s greater economic insecurity.
Remarkably, those who talk about applying a “gender lens” to the pandemic nearly always miss its most dramatic gender imbalance: the fact that a clear majority of the casualties are men, who are more likely both to get COVID-19 and to die from it. In New York, which has the largest outbreak in the United States, men account for 62 percent of the fatalities; in some places, such as Italy, it’s over 70 percent. It’s not yet understood what causes the skew. But it’s telling that commentary on this gender gap is often framed as a demonstration of women’s natural “superiority,” not as a cause of concern about men.'

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