(ANSA) - ROME, MARCH 04 - It is women who pay the highest price of the pandemic: they are most of the infected, they carry out assistance tasks three times compared to men and are often the first to lose their jobs and see their income: the complaint comes from the WHO manager for Europe Hans Kluge, a few days before International Women's Day on 8 March, who urges governments to contain the gender gap.
"We have known for some time that emergencies have a disproportionate effect on women's health and Covid-19 is no exception - she said at a press conference -: confirmed cases are more common in women and young adults. The line we talk so often is mainly the face of a woman. More than 7 out of 10 employees in global health and healthcare facilities are women. In Europe 84% of nurses and 53% of doctors are women. "
In all, women make up 70% of the health workforce but hold only 25% of the top positions.
In health care workers, women are in lower status jobs and are paid worse.
The gender pay gap in the health sector is higher than in other sectors, at 25%, "unacceptable" for the WHO.
"We must do everything possible to protect our front line - he concluded -. To decrease the serious socio-economic impact of Covid-19 on women, their economic participation must increase and we must address the pay gap, investing in health and social assistance jobs with wages and conditions. equitable recognition ".
The containment measures have exacerbated the imbalance even indirectly - observes the WHO - for example with the closure of schools.
In fact, it is above all women to follow their children in distance education and to suffer the inevitable increase in the need for assistance and domestic tasks for children and the elderly.
For this reason, many have left their jobs, sacrificing their participation in public life as well.