A new report by a team of researchers at the University of Arkansas and the University of Southern California found that women are disproportionately affected during the novel coronavirus pandemic, compared to their male counterparts.
The study involved close to 7,000 members as part of the probability-based Understanding Coronavirus in America, in which a series of surveys were administered from March to June 2020.
In their findings, researchers determined that women with lower educational attainment were at an increased chance of adversities in the workplace and with childcare during the pandemic.
“While men are more likely to die from infection by COVID-19, overall the pandemic has had a disproportionately detrimental impact on the mental health of women, particularly those with kids,” said Gema Zamarro, co-author of the study, in a news release.
The implementation of school closures led to increased childcare duties in the wake of the pandemic. 44 percent of women reported being the only childcare provider in their household, compared to 14 percent among their male counterparts.
Moreover, women with lower educational attainment experienced the most employment adversities, with a 15 percent decrease during early-April compared to men, who saw an 11 percent reduction. However, men and women of higher educational attainment experienced similar rates of employment adversities, having reported substantial decreases.
“I plan to continue with this research and to follow these respondents in the coming months as schools may or may not be able to open and remain open in the fall,” Zamarro stated in the report.
“The fact that we observe college-educated moms reducing working hours is worrisome as it might imply that if the situation continues some moms might decide to leave the labor force to provide the necessary care.”