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CHARLOTTE, NC – The COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat of devastation to society. However, most of us are not aware that this pandemic poses a greater threat to women. Research done by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) explained that there are at least 4 reasons why women face a greater threat from COVID-19.
1. Underpaid yet Essential Jobs
Pay inequality based on gender has been an issue for a long time. This put many women to work for essential jobs with so little money. Because they are the essential workers, they need to commute and those with low wages will need to rely on public transportation to go to their workplace. And as we know, public transportation might pose a greater chance of viruses exposure. Thus, these women are more likely to catch viruses from this situation.
2. Front-liner Positions
As the essential workers, they are put as the front-liners such as medical personnel or restaurant workers. These positions require them to have frequent public contact and increase the risk of getting exposed to the viruses. It was reported that 9 out of 10 nurses are women, along with the majority of respiratory therapists and pharmacists.
3. Prone to Domestic Violence
WHO reported that domestic violence might increase at times of natural disaster. With that said, this pandemic is counted as a natural disaster and increases the domestic violence rate. Women are prone to become the victim due to the economic instability and stress that could lead to violence. The stay-at-home policy also makes it hard for them to seek help.
4. Prone to Sexual Exploitation
The pandemic caused many job losses and income shortages. This puts women in a vulnerable position because they are most like to get sexually exploited by the landlord who demands unpaid rent. Women of color, immigrants, and undocumented women have a higher risk of sexual exploitation.