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If we are to recover from economic chaos, we need to get more women back to work

Colette Browne


Women were already at a disadvantage in the workforce when this crisis started – now things have gotten worse

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Urgent: The stress caused by trying to do it all – educate and care for children while continuing a relentless work schedule – is causing many women to burn out. Photo posed

Urgent: The stress caused by trying to do it all – educate and care for children while continuing a relentless work schedule – is causing many women to burn out. Photo posed

Urgent: The stress caused by trying to do it all – educate and care for children while continuing a relentless work schedule – is causing many women to burn out. Photo posed

It took the women’s movement decades to increase female participation in the labour force, but mere months for Covid to decimate that progress.

Nowhere is this more evident than the United States. Throughout 2020, American women lost more than five million jobs. Meanwhile, as of last week, 2.3 million women had left the labour force entirely, meaning they are no longer looking for work, putting labour force participation at 57pc – a 33-year low. The job-loss figures for December were particularly stark. Of the 156,000 jobs lost to the economy that month, women accounted for 100pc of the losses. Every single one.


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