There is no escaping the sheer fear COVID-19 has bred within us as a society and, as well, individually.
There is no escaping the immense weight COVID has placed on our lives, whether through conversations or outings we are constantly being thrust into the realization we are in the biggest world catastrophe of the last 100 years.
Even within this weekly column I’ve tried to stay away from the inundating topic that is this global pandemic.
We simply can’t escape it because it has had a major impact on our lives.
And while it has had its own ramifications for all walks of life it has become more evident as time goes on it has had more of a consequence to one gender over the other.
I’m not referring to the impact of the disease infecting one gender more than the other but about how the virus has had a larger upheaval and influence on women.
Women, and in particular mothers, always feel the need to be ‘everything’ for their family, from confidant, to chef, to house cleaner and working professional, we have a tendency to want to do it all and the shut down of the world due to the pandemic was no different.
We became full-time teachers while trying to maintain and fulfill work responsibilities and still have the time to have a clean house, dinner on the table and look considerably respectable in our own appearances.
While it wasn’t a task we signed on for, we understood it was our duty.
Life before COVID-19 was compartmentalized, work was separate from home life and vice versa.
But the pandemic really blurred those lines once everything shut down and that happened for both women and men.
However, women have found it harder to balance everything once sorted and sectionalized not unlike a big box store with its different departments.
One might think we’ve gotten to a place where the strain of work-life balance would fall equally on the shoulders of both parents but that is not always the case and I think COVID-19 just spotlighted that strain as well as reiterated to those ‘non-believers’ that women do have a true strength and power hidden deep within.
Although now that things are starting to get back to some semblance of what life was like before the pandemic, some women who were laid off just aren’t looking anymore or can’t afford to be working while knowing they have to home school kids who don’t have the immune system to be in a classroom.
Which is understandable, albeit sad and scary, because of how far women have come in terms of workplace equality.
According to a report done by RBC Economics the pandemic has threatened decades of women’s labour force gains.
“In a matter of months, the COVID-19 pandemic knocked women’s participation in the labour force down from a historic high to its lowest level in over 30 years.”
Within the first two months of the pandemic an unprecedented 1.5 million women in Canada lost their jobs and those that didn’t and ended up working at home are seriously struggling with finding a harmonious balance.
In previous years men took the brunt of the unemployment rate but this time things have played out differently and more specifically because women were fulfilling jobs in industries hit hardest by the pandemic.
But it’s also the wage gap that has played an impossibly volatile role in why women have chosen to take a backseat yet again to their male counterparts.
Because why shouldn’t we if he is making more?
It’s a question that has plagued women for many generations and is once again making its cycle in present day.
So while some women around the world are just trying to make it through the day we need to acknowledge the fact one day, it may not be immediately, but in the future we will talk about how we as women played yet another major role in an unprecedented time.