Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
Whilst the end may be near for COVID, its impact on the world, and especially women is far from it. As a woman myself, I can speak first hand to the personal impact I have experienced due to COVID. And others that my female friends have had to endure. And while this article is not about feeling sorry for the female population. It is about highlighting some of the difficulties that women around the world have had to endure due to gender inequalities, pay gaps and overall expectation put on women. Below are just some of the ways women of all ages have been affected by COVID.
- Burning it from both ends: As i’ve written countless times on here. One of the biggest things to happen to me during COVID was becoming a mother the day the first lockdown started. This unforeseen reality meant that whilst my husband and I had hoped for some help from family and friends. I was left with being a mom, home maker and working all in one day. This usually meant that I slept for a maximum of 4 hours a night. This was usually due to my busy schedule taking care of a newborn, working and trying to put food on the table. And whilst my husband did try to help. The reality of society and work environments meant that it was much harder for him to excuse himself from meetings for family emergencies like when our daughter woke up. Whilst I on the other hand found it much easier to have a baby in my arms during meetings. Or postpone when she was being particularly fussy.
- Further pay gap: Due to being both mother and employee. Most women had to endure a pay reduction, or stepping back entirely from work due to family obligations. Alternatively, most of my friends spoke about how they couldn’t work more with the hours they had as much as their male counterparts as they had so many other home and family obligations.
- Physical and emotional abuse: One thing COVID brought to the fore is how much women are in danger. Everywhere I looked there were stories, articles and even campaigns about domestic violence. Being forced to stay home also meant that women couldn’t escape their environments and instead had to endure. This to me was one of the harder and harsh realities of COVID.
- Stress: I must say that even with all that confinement allowed me and my family it also upped the amount of stress for me. In part because of all the juggling, but also because of the uncertainty of the times.
What are some ways you as a women were affected by COVID?