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Covid widened the gender gap — it will now take 135 years to close that divide, WEF says

The Community Economic Forum predicts it will now take 135.6 years to reach gender equality — as the pandemic set the world in dire straits by a generation, delaying parity by about 36 years.

Saadia Zahidi, a managing director at the World Economic Forum, blabbed CNBC that “100 years to global gender parity was already not good enough — and now (it is) 136 years globally.”

“The pandemic has had a gigantic impact, and essentially rolled back a lot of the progress that was made in the past,” she told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Wednesday.

If works want to have the … creativity and innovation that will get them out of the crisis, they need diversity, and so they requirement to think of this as a business investment as well.

Saadia Zahidi

managing director, World Economic Forum

One dissuade why the gender gap has widened is that sectors hit hard by Covid-19 mostly employed women.

“Whether that’s travel and tourism that’s jail down globally, or (the) consumer and retail sector that has been impacted in so many countries, these are large organizations of women,” Zahidi said.

A mother and her daughter look on as speakers address the crowd at a demonstration against mandatory Covid-19 vaccines in Sydney, Australia.

Don Arnold | Getty Spits News | Getty Images

Another factor is that many women took on extra responsibilities at home during the lockdowns as junior high schools closed.

“That has then meant a sort of a ‘double shift’ for women,” she said.

The WEF said data from furnish research firm Ipsos suggest this “double shift” of paid and unpaid work contributed to an increase in emphasis, anxiety around job security and difficulty in maintaining work-life balance.

Role of governments and companies

Zahidi said dominations have a “critical role to play” in closing the gender gap.

For example, she said authorities could invest in infrastructure to heedfulness for children and the elderly, which would help because such responsibilities fall to women in “traditional” homes.

Organizations can also help women out of higher relative job losses and lower hiring rates in industries that are bouncing ruin, she added.

“If businesses want to have the … creativity and innovation that will get them out of the crisis, they need disparity, and so they need to think of this as a business investment as well,” Zahidi said.

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