Is the acknowledgement of a ‘she-cession’ a step forward for gender equality?

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She-cession, a newly coined pandemic term, defines the unequal economic impact on women as a result of the current economic downturn. 

Women have been struck hardest by the economic fall-out of the pandemic, with employment falling by 6.7% for women, compared to 3.9% for men. 

Last night, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews acknowledged that women, engaged in paid employed or not, bore the brunt of homeschooling and looking after children when childcare and kindergartens closed. 

Women bore the brunt of homeschooling and looking after children during various shut-downs.

The 20/21 State budget is said to have a female focus, with $150 million of the $250 million of the job-creation scheme, aimed at energising female employment, this includes;

  • A share of the $165.5M of skills-based investment, aimed at enhancing pathways to employment 
  • A $10M Women’s Founders Angel Fund, to support female-led business innovation and start-ups.
  • A special investment to lift women’s employment in the male-dominated industries of Construction ($5M), Transport ($2.3M) and building surveying ($6.4M)

Whilst these are undoubtedly welcome investments to drive female employment and economic security, it is interesting to note that, boosts to kindergarten and before and after-school care programs are considered to be ‘female job policies’. As the State Government stated, “women will be able to access opportunities…. all the while worry less about juggling it all at home”, >sigh< women still have a long road ahead to achieve true equality at work and home.