Exposing Gender Inequalities: Impacts of Covid-19 on Aotearoa ǀ New Zealand Employment

  • Annick Masselot
  • Maria Hayes
Keywords: gender inequality, vulnerability, covid-19, abuse, violence, care, economic recovery bias

Abstract

This article outlines how the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbates economic and social gender inequalities in Aotearoa ǀ New Zealand. While this crisis highlights the central part played by women in the economy, the gender impacts of the pandemic are visible in connection to a decrease in job security and financial safety for female workers; to a rise in the duplication of paid and unpaid work; to an increase violence in and outside of homes; a heightened risk exposure to the virus and worse health outcomes. Not all women are equally positioned in this crisis, women of Māori and Pacific descent are disproportionately feeling the effects of the pandemic.

The two-prong, government’s recovery plan, which only partially ensures a fair and equal economic rebuild, is critically assessed. While the economic response fails to take a systematic gender approach, scope for challenging traditional gender assumptions is met head-on in relation to policy on violence against women.  The article considers flexible working options and focuses on options for reframing employment law in a post-pandemic environment with a view to achieve and deliver equality between men and women through an intersectional lens.

Published
2020-10-29