mfespinosa1_JOHANNES EISELEAFP via Getty Images_covid Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Build Back Equal

Creating an economy that works for everyone is not just a matter of empowering those who have been “left behind” by globalization. Instead, it requires a comprehensive and critical assessment of the systemic forces that are fueling inequality.

QUITO – The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated a wide range of inequalities. If leaders are serious about “building back better,” policies to overcome the systemic forces that underlie them must form the heart of their agendas.

One such divide is the gender gap. Since the pandemic began, women have suffered job losses at a higher rate than men – not least because they are overrepresented in many of the hardest-hit industries, such as food service and retail – and faced higher levels of social precarity and food insecurity. The pandemic is set to increase the gender gap in extreme poverty as well.

Moreover, as feminist thinkers like Silvia Federici have pointed out, the burden of domestic labor – already disproportionately borne by women – became far heavier during pandemic lockdowns. At the same time, women are usually the victims of domestic violence, which has become more frequent and severe since the pandemic began.

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