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NextGen Magazine


Women Lost 98 Nations' Worth of Income in 2020

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 30, 2021
iStock-918035570 Women Working Designer Designing

Between job losses, business closures and other economic chaos, women in 2020 lost roughly $800 billion in income worldwide, a sum equivalent to the gross domestic product of 98 countries, reported CNN. The report, from Oxfam International, noted that this is a conservative estimate, as it counted only formal wage work, rather than the informal arrangements that many women rely on for income, which also dried up in the pandemic. Proportionally, women accounted for 64 million job losses last year, equal to about 5 percent of all jobs held by women worldwide (for men, the proportion was 3.9 percent).

These losses have only served to exacerbate the economic inequality that existed well before the pandemic; Oxfam International warned that any recovery policy that ignores the gendered aspect of the economic crisis will be incomplete, considering the scope and scale of women's losses last year. The report raises similar issues to those in a Bloomberg article, which noted that if the tide can be reversed, the global economy stands to make at least $1.6 trillion. Conversely, if trends continue, it is estimated that the world economy will shrink by about $64. billion annually.

In the United States alone, women were leaving the workforce at a rate of hundreds of thousands per month, with just September seeing 865,000 such losses. An analysis in February from the National Women's Law Center found that the data indicates that so many women have left their jobs that female labor force participation is now at its lowest level since 1988.