Healthcare access, employment among gender disparities that widened amid pandemic

The pandemic intensified a range of preexisting gender disparities, widening the equality gap between men and women globally, according to a March 2 study published in The Lancet

The researchers looked at gender data in a range of topics, including health outcomes, education, work concerns, safety at home, and vaccine hesitancy and uptake to discern how women worldwide were affected by the pandemic. Data from between Jan. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, was compiled from 13 gender- or sex-specific sources and one gender-invariant source.

Here's how men and women differed in a range of key categories:

  1. As vaccines became available in January 2021, women were more vaccine hesitant than men, with 25.6 percent of women reporting concerns about the vaccine compared to 22.3 percent of men. The gender gap then decreased over time, with it largely closed as of September 2021.

  2. Women were more likely than men to report that the pandemic caused disruptions in access to healthcare and healthcare products.

  3. Women were hit harder by employment losses than men. In September 2021, 26 percent of women reported employment losses compared to 20.4 percent of men.

  4. Women were also much more likely to report the increase of chores and caregiving responsibilities than men worldwide. By September 2021, women were 2.4 times more likely to report forgoing work to care for others.

  5. Female students were also 1.21 times more likely to drop out of the school during the pandemic than male students.

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