The pandemic is a chance to reshape women’s roles in Latin America and the Caribbean – Atlantic Council

The pandemic is a chance to reshape women’s roles in Latin America and the Caribbean – Atlantic Council

The pandemic is a chance to reshape women’s roles in Latin America and the Caribbean

The importance of formalizing private houseworkers so that they have access to health, social protection and agreements to agree on wages and breaks are the main measures suggested by UN Women to guarantee rights to this sector, which she also highlighted some Argentine policies, especially in a pandemic, that proved “to be fundamental.” Eva Cabrera / Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

María Gonzalez, a sixty-one-year-old Honduran woman, has been her family’s breadwinner since 1995. But when Honduras reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 11, 2020, Gonzalez’s employers informed her that she would be furloughed indefinitely. As a domestic worker in the city of San Pedro Sula, Gonzalez earned minimum wage—thirty-eight lempiras (less than two dollars) per hour—and had limited social-security benefits. She was left with no income and seven mouths to feed in her household. Gonzalez’s story, which she told me, captures the hardship that millions of women are facing due to the global pandemic.

The economic crisis triggered by the pandemic has had unequal consequences across the labor market in Latin America and the Caribbean, with women disproportionately affected both in the formal and informal sectors. Survey data from the World Bank shows that female workers were 44 percent more likely than their male counterparts to lose their jobs at the start of the pandemic. And while
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