What is it like to meet a feminist

The gender effect of Corona: feminism on the sidelines

The home helper, the train driver, the nursing student, the supermarket employee, the electrical energy technician, the employees: they were all rightly celebrated as "heroes of work" in the "Corona Extra" by "AK für Sie", the members' newspaper of the Vienna Chamber of Labor. Like many others, they all do their best in a crisis.

Nevertheless, all six people differentiate a lot: the three men will return to their normal state more quickly after the crisis than the women. Because in the long run, the corona crisis will hit women harder than men, regardless of the health aspect. As the Canadian health researcher Julia Smith found out using the example of the Ebola crisis, epidemics have a "gender impact" - in the poor as well as in the rich part of the world.

Women's wages and salaries are climbing back more slowly to pre-epidemic levels. Women suffer more from the long-term effects of unrecognized diseases that are not priority in the crisis. You are more likely to be a victim of domestic violence in an isolated situation.

Home office, homeschooling and social distancing throw women back to the 1950s: a "disaster for feminism", as the author Helen Lewis recently wrote in "Atlantic". The hard-won partnership in modern (heterosexual) relationships, the progress of equality, is a fragile consensus. It is based primarily on the fact that other people, mostly women, often from Southeastern Europe, provide care and nursing services that were previously provided by women in the family. The fact that these care professions are often shamefully poorly paid is another serious contradiction in modern societies.

But the 24-hour carer is no longer allowed to come to help the grandma; the cleaning lady stays at home; if the children have to be cooked for, trained and entertained three times a day, our finely balanced model of life collapses. The decisions that couples have to make these days are as simple as they are tough: The one with the higher income and the full-time job continues to work as best they can. Those with the part-time job and the low income take on the care work even more than before. Since 79 percent of all part-time jobs are done by women, it doesn't take long to guess what the roles will be. These are sober financial considerations - with far-reaching consequences: If you don't stay on the ball professionally in such a mega-crisis, you will also feel its long-term consequences more strongly. All of this hits single mothers harder.

Austria's government, which claims that it reacted early, far-sightedly and prudently to the coronavirus, must face these hidden dangers of the pandemic and counter them with all its might. It must not be accepted that after Corona, more than half of the population finds themselves in the upright, brutal foul of the post-war years. (Petra Stuiber, April 3rd, 2020)

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