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Coronavirus Update – The Gendered Impacts Of The Virus

Owing to their different socio-economic conditions, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is having different consequences for everyone. Like all other things, it also has a gendered impact on people. Many pieces of research have proved that the pandemic is more dangerous for women. However, the virus itself is proving to be more dangerous for males, with their death toll being twice that of females.

Thus, the coronavirus pandemic has vastly different effects on men and women.

Let’s find out exactly how the consequences of the virus and the pandemic are different for men and women.

Coronavirus Update – Death Rate Of Males In The UK Twice Those Of Females

HOW IS CORONAVIRUS AFFECTING MEN AND WOMEN DIFFERENTLY?

Coronavirus Update - The Gendered Impacts Of The Virus

DEATH RATES

The difference in death is so far the most evident difference between the gendered impacts of the virus.

The number of males dying from the virus in the US is almost twice the number of females.

In Western Europe, 69% of coronavirus patients that have died are males.

“One theory is that women’s immune response to the virus is stronger,” says Philip Goulder. Goulder is a professor of immunology at the University of Oxford.

This can be attributed to females having two X chromosomes while males only have one.

“In particular, the protein by which viruses such as coronavirus are sensed is encoded on the X chromosome. As a result, this protein is expressed at twice the dose on many immune cells in females compared to males, and the immune response to coronavirus is therefore amplified in females.”

Coronavirus Update - The Gendered Impacts Of The Virus

UNEMPLOYMENT

The pandemic has led to mass unemployment all over the world. Lockdowns have forced hundreds of offices, shops, cafes, and restaurants to shut down, and hence downsize their staff. However, unemployment isn’t increasing equally across the board.

Owing to the pandemic, 1.4 million people became unemployed in America. Women witnessed an increase of 0.9% in unemployment. However, men experienced a slightly lower increase of 0.7%

Research conducted by the UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies reinforces this information. They found that women are 33.33% more likely to work in sectors have been heavily affected or entirely shut down due to the pandemic. These include retail, hospitality, etc.

EXACERBATING INEQUALITIES

One of the most evident forms of inequalities that have worsened during the pandemic is domestic violence. Organizations all over the world have reported a rise in reports of domestic violence. France reported a 1/3rd increase in cases in the first week of lockdown. Similarly, Lebanon reported twice as many cases, and Australia reported a 75% increase.

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Clare Wenham, an associate professor of global health policy, said –

“We know domestic violence normally happens in the home. Then you shut people you in the home in a stressful period when people don’t have money and can’t go to work. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see why that results in more domestic violence.”

Wenham teaches at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Moreover, the pandemic has also resulted in women being unable to access health services, such as contraception. Many governments in lockdowns also labelled abortions as “non-essential services.” Thus preventing women from exercising their right to terminate a pregnancy.

 

 

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