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Women most affected by coronavirus pandemic: EU report
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 03 - 2021

The European Union on Friday said that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the situation of women and has exacerbated existing inequalities between women and men in almost all areas of life.
"Women are at the frontline at the pandemic and they are more affected by it. We can't afford sliding back, we must continue to push for fairness and equality," said EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova, in a statement ahead of International Women's Day.
EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, added that "despite the disproportionate impact on women's lives due to the COVID19 crisis, we need to use this situation as an opportunity."
Meanwhile, the European Commission in its 2021 report on gender equality released on Friday noted that EU member states recorded a surge in domestic violence.
For example, the number of reports on domestic violence in France increased by 32 percent during the first week of the lockdown, in Lithuania by 20 percent in the first three weeks. Ireland saw a five-fold increase in domestic violence orders and Spanish authorities reported an 18 percent rise in calls during the first fortnight of confinement.
Women in Europe were at the frontline tackling the pandemic: Seventy-six percent of healthcare and social care workers, 86 percent of personal care workers in health services are women.
Further, the report sees a striking lack of women in COVID-19 decision-making bodies. A 2020 study found that men greatly outnumber women in the bodies created to respond to the pandemic. At the political level, only 30 percent of health ministers in the EU are women.
The EU'S Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, adopted one year ago, is based on a vision for a Europe where women and men, girls and boys, in all their diversity, are free from violence and stereotypes and have the opportunity to thrive and to lead. International Women's Day which falls on March 8 is a global day marking the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. — KUNA


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