The pandemic is on its last legs but not before dealing a devastating blow to society globally. Women – historically the disenfranchised, oppressed gender – have been especially hard hit. As the UN puts it, the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the previous decades is at risk of being rolled back.
In this article, we explore the various ways the pandemic has affected women, including stay-at-home moms and those out of work. Presented by Compass Rose International, below are just some of the solutions to this crisis – even in your darkest hour, there is always hope.
Job Loss and Economic Stress
According to McKinsey, women are 1.8 times more vulnerable to unemployment, primarily because of their at-home, unpaid caregiving responsibilities. They account for 54 percent of job losses despite taking up only 39 percent of overall jobs. Furthermore, not all sectors are doing well, and money has been tight, leading to heightened economic pressure.
Extra Caregiving, Chores, and Housework
With schools and offices being disrupted, and lockdown and travel restrictions still prevalent everywhere, people are spending more time at home. Existing housework has doubled because of this, says Bloomberg, and kids also require extra attention. The responsibility for it all tends to be disproportionately borne by women. Single parents are the worst hit.
Lack of Access to Support Services
Support services for women aren’t always easy to come by. Current childcare and school systems don’t always consider the needs of working mothers. Furthermore, childcare is expensive, exceeding the federal definition of affordability (which is 7% of the annual household income). It costs $1200 per month for an infant and $900 per month for a toddler.
Increased Incidences of Gender-Based Violence
There has been an alarming surge in cases of gender-based violence – a “shadow” pandemic, as the experts are calling it. Before Covid-19, 18 percent of women and girls experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner over 12 months. During the pandemic, an additional 15 million cases are expected every 3 months.
Development of Mental Health Disorders
The pandemic-related turbulence has fueled an increase in mental health disorders among women. Nearly half of women have been experiencing worsening conditions, and 29% of surveyed women reported symptoms of depression and anxiety. Related conditions, like alcohol overuse, are also on the rise.
Finding your Way out of the Crisis
If you’re a woman and have been hard-hit by the pandemic, it’s important to remain hopeful and believe in yourself. You may be glued to your house, with too many responsibilities and no new job in sight. But the economy is picking up and change is around the corner. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in a rut – seasons change, and pandemics run their course. This too shall pass. Try to improve your lot, focus on self-care, and you will get there.
Explore Money-Making Opportunities
Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of money-making opportunities to be had for stay-at-home moms and those out of work, both full-time and part-time. All you need is a computer and the will to try. Being a freelancer – self-employed, in other words – gives you freedom, flexibility, and, if you play your cards right, financial security and mental stability. Market yourself for the best results.
Some examples include being a virtual assistant, starting your own blog, testing products, tutoring, and selling products. If you have solid language skills and an eye for detail, you could be a book editor. Consider an online marketplace to feature your book editing services for maximum exposure and control over factors like cost and delivery time. Just remember that if you decide to turn this into a full-blown business, you’ll need to start thinking about things like business plans and structures. For example, many people register their businesses as LLCs in order to use the tax advantages and liability protections they provide. You can even work with a formation service like ZenBusiness to simplify the process.
Think Long-Term and Pick Up a Skill
Lastly, consider investing in your future by picking up and honing an in-demand skill if you want to have economic security in the future. When your work is in demand, you will always have a job – which brings with it mental stability, peace, and independence. The work landscape is transforming, and you have to change with it to thrive.
The pandemic is almost over and the economy is picking up, making now a great time to start a new chapter in your life – whether that’s going back to work or having your own freelancing gig. Stay focused, get help from friends and family, and keep moving forward. You will bounce back, stronger than ever.
Hannah Simpson is a stay-at-home mom of two children. She created ablecrafty.com as a means to encourage others to create meaningful projects no matter their age or abilities.
As someone in a wheelchair, she makes accommodations depending on her project and finds joy in modifying DIY crafts. Showing her kids that their Mom can tackle any DIY project that other Moms’ and Dads’ can make, give her feelings of empowerment, and makes them proud!
She says, “I think being “a maker” is a great hobby for parents and kids alike. You can explore different mediums, spend a little or a lot of time on your pursuit, take time to focus on just yourself and what you’re making, and create something unique that makes the world a little more beautiful.”
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