On my initiative, the Greens/EFA Group has commissioned a gender impact assessment of the European reconstruction programme “Next Generation EU”. This study was conducted by the economists Dr Elisabeth Klatzer and Dr Azzura Rinaldi who conclude that the economic stimulus package puts women at a disadvantage: because they lose their jobs disproportionately often as a result of the crisis, but that the financial aid from the EU flows mainly into male-dominated sectors. This is gender-blind. If we do not make the economic stimulus packages fairer, they will set women in this crisis back by decades in all countries.
The authors deliver the proof in time to take countermeasures. Among other things, they recommend that, in addition to the focus on digital and green transformation, there should also be a further emphasis on investment in paid care work. An intelligent combination of these priorities is essential if “Next Generation EU” and all other stimulus packages are to unfold their full impact on the labour market.
With impressive comparisons and calculations, the authors show how discrimination arises. It is also evident in the comparison between the sectors that have been particularly hard hit by the corona crisis and those that are expected to benefit most from the stimulus package:
The economic effects are also relevant. While investments in digital and climate-friendly technologies are important, they will only provide limited employment in these industries, which are already experiencing skill shortages. Whenever women are forced to leave the labour market, household incomes and thus the GDP will fall. We therefore need balanced investments that take into account realistically expected employment effects. The Care Economy plays a central role in this, especially investments in crisis-proof childcare and schools.
For a summary of the study click here.