Fallout from Covid-19: a third of young women previously employed are now unemployed

A third of young women who were employed before the pandemic were unemployed in January 2021 due to the impact of Covid-19.

The unemployment rate following the pandemic is three times higher among women at 29% than among men at 11%.

Among those who found a job later, earnings clawback fell 21% for young women and 10% for young men in January 2021.

The above data was presented by Dr Imran Matin, Executive Director of the Brac Institute for Governance and Development (BIGD), during a webinar today.

The webinar, titled “Building a Resilient Ecosystem for Women in the Skills Sector: Challenges and Prospects,” hosted the webinar as part of the celebration of “World Youth Skills Day” to be held on July 15.

Interviewees in the study pointed out that tutoring, crafts, factory jobs, tailoring, and light engineering are among the areas where more young women find jobs in the conventional way, but these are among the areas hardest hit in the economy by the pandemic.

Respondents also believe that resuming these particular areas will be difficult and will take time even when the pandemic is over, making it difficult for young women to return to paid employment.

Highlighting the results of the survey, Dr Matin said that a large number of working women without paid work for such a long period could cause many to leave the labor market for good, which could further reduce the already low rate. participation of women in the labor market.

The shock of Covid-19 could threaten to undo much of the progress made in women’s empowerment unless corrective action is taken, he added.

During the webinar, speakers focused on increasing awareness of the importance of technical and vocational education, as well as training and other skills development relevant to local and global economies.

Joydeep Sinha Roy, Brac SDP Operations Manager, presented the results of SDP implementation experiences over the years at the event.

The presentation highlighted that traditional gender culture and roles, gender stereotypes, lack of career guidance, security concerns, especially fear of gender-based violence and sexual harassment, family responsibilities and availability Quality apprenticeship jobs are the main barriers for adolescent girls and young women’s access to learning skills.

Brac Gender, Justice and Diversity Program Director Nobonita Chowdhury stressed the importance of making changes in the design of appropriate interventions. “Instead of designing interventions separately, we need to focus on delivering integrated interventions consistent with mainstreaming women’s empowerment across different sectors,” she said.

Tahmid Arif, ILO Program Officer (M&E) for the Skills 21 project, said: “Changing attitudes is crucial not only for the vocational training of young women, but also for their employment. Organizing training is not enough. We must also make sure that those who receive training also get a job opportunity and the opportunity must be sustainable. “

Highlighting the harsh impact of Covid-19 on the female workforce, Neda Society ED Jahanara Beauty said: “During the pandemic, many employers chose to keep men instead of women in the informal sectors. As many women had to quit their jobs, this had no impact only on their income or employment, but also on their surrounding situation. There has been a sharp decline in their savings, while violence against women has increased and cases of child marriage have increased dramatically. “

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