“Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex,” says a United Nations policy brief.
2020 Pandemic has been by far one of the most challenging years for me as a mom and as a woman. And, I know for sure every mom, working or not, reading this is nodding her head in agreement. Coronavirus pandemic changed everything about our lives, dreams, and aspirations. I have often spoken about how hard it is to be a mom and find your way back to your career. How difficult it is for women to get the job they deserve after having a baby. How the postpartum penalty is a grim reality! As if things are already not difficult for moms/women on a regular Tuesday, the pandemic just made things worst.
The last year was emotionally, socially, personally, and financially one of the most challenging years for all of us. But, for women, it is always a little extra. I am not trying to play the “women card” or “feminist card” here. I am just trying to set the record straight. Why am I doing it? Why talk about how 2020 was more problematic for women? Because someone should! We have to start the dialogue about these hard-hitting issues.
The following are the most glaring facts to prove that 2020 was indeed one of the toughest years for women.
“Overall, women are still down 5.4 million jobs from February, before the pandemic began, as compared to 4.4 million job losses for men. They started 2020 on roughly equal footing, with women holding 50.03% of jobs, but ended it holding 860,000 fewer jobs than their male peers.” – CNN Business.
“According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, women accounted for 55% of the 20.5 million workers who became unemployed in April, compared to a 13% unemployment rate for men. There are a number of reasons why this has occurred, including that women comprise a majority of primary caregivers and workers in the service industry, two areas that have been most impacted by Covid-19. But the financial impact is only half the story.” – Forbes.
“Almost as soon as the pandemic began, agencies helping survivors of domestic violence warned that victims would suffer as a result of quarantine rules, and the survey of 376 staff and volunteers working at transition houses, shelters, immigration centres and other social agencies coast-to-coast confirms those fears.” – CBC
2020 Pandemic – The Toughest Year for Me As a Mom
2020 made it clear to me personally that life is not about posting great pictures on social media. It showed me, irrespective of how strongly we feel, that women have come a long way, but to date, if push comes to shove, women are the ones who will lose the most.
It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, or a mom who is trying to get her career back on track. Society, your loved one, your circle is fabricated so that women are questioned more. Being the primary caregivers in most families, women have endless responsibilities. There is simply no end to the judgment, guilt, assault, violence, emotional, physical, and verbal abuse.
I started 2020 on a highly positive note. We had just moved to Canada and was loving it. I was able to get an excellent job in the tourism sector by Jan end. Just a month into my new job and we started hearing about pandemic and lockdown. Retrospectively speaking, I was sure things will be back to normal post-spring break, and all will be well. Now, it is almost a year, and things haven’t changed much.
I lost my job because it was a tourism start-up, and the tourism sector took the biggest hit during the pandemic. I was now at home with my almost-three-year-old son, husband, and my dog 24/7. That means no time for myself. I am supposed to live my life in two hours when my son is napping. That includes finding a new job, writing/managing my blog, posting on social media about the latest activities, thinking about monetizing my blog and taking a break myself. I crumbled under the emotional and physical exhaustion of taking care of everyone. Something had to give in and took a step back from blogging and social media.
Women Are Fighting Worldwide For Equality During The Pandemic
Even though I am blessed in a million ways, the gravity of the situation is not lost. I know what I have lost, or my struggles are not as big as millions of women/moms worldwide. I have the privilege and medium to talk about what’s going on. I see it, feel it in my gut, and seeing so many women’s sufferings affect me. Therefore, I think it is vital that we realize and accept the fact that 2020 was exceptionally harder for women.
While we are all trying to deal with the pandemic’s unprecedented impact on all our lives, we must try to be more mindful.
Be mindful next time you are interviewing a woman, firing her, or offering her the salary. We can have all the big talks, but if we don’t rectify our inner-compass and point towards equality, it doesn’t matter if you are a hotshot CEO or an activist. Your words should transcend into actions.
Pandemic wise 2021 seems the same, but you can make a difference for women. Don’t give special privileges except for the right to equality and start with the women in your family.
Mum Mum Ma …
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