COVID-19 Pandemic Worsened Gender Inequality In India: Oxfam Report

Image Credits: Livemint

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COVID-19 Pandemic Worsened Gender Inequality In India: Oxfam Report

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The report, based on data and responses collected from urban and rural women in the national capital and Rajasthan, revealed that women and girls put in an astounding 3.26 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day.

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With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, gender inequality in terms of income and time could have worsened.

According to a report by Oxfam International's Indian arm, the inequalities that existed between men and women due to the traditional roles played in society as "breadwinner men" and "caregiver women" have deteriorated due to the virus-outbreak.

The report, based on data and responses collected from urban and rural women in the national capital and Rajasthan, revealed that women and girls put in an astounding 3.26 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day, reported Livemint.

"Oxfam India estimated that women and girls put in 3.26 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day. It is equivalent to the contribution of ₹19 lakh crore (trillion) a year to the Indian economy," said Diya Dutta, one of the authors of the Oxfam's 2020 India Inequality Report — On Women's Backs.

"The burden of care work is so immense that it does negatively impact their (women's) participation in the workforce, circumscribe their pursuit of education, and discourages them from taking care of their health," Dutta added.

She also stated that women's contribution to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one of the lowest in the world.

"Yet, if you look at the total amount of work done by women, it is much higher and contributes a lot more to the Indian economy. In China, women's work contributes to 41% of the GDP," she pointed out.

There was also a linkage between unpaid care work and violence against women, the study suggested. Women's duty towards household and the family "has deep social currency" and any mistake was seen as deserving of punishment meted out by both men and women, it said.

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