An IMF study confirmed what most women already knew: Mothers bore much of the enormous economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In “the world of work, women with young children are among the biggest victims of business closures,” said the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, in a blog posted on Friday.
The IMF economists study, which looked at the experiences of mothers in the United States, Britain and Spain, showed why it is “crucial” to give additional help to mothers, Georgieva said.
That includes prioritizing reopening schools and providing cash support for immediate needs and training for new jobs after some jobs disappeared, he said.
The study showed that of all workers in the United States, women were more affected than men, while in Great Britain it was the other way around and in Spain men and women suffered similarly.
“Despite these differences, the three countries had one thing in common: mothers of young children were disproportionately affected by business closures and containment measures,” Georgieva said.
With the closure of schools and virtual classes “many women, who already before the pandemic mostly carried the burden of childcare and housework, lost their jobs or had their working hours reduced.”
Data from the United States government indicated that almost 2 million women in their 20s left the workforce during the pandemic and the unemployment rate was 5.7% in March compared to 3.1% in February 2020.