Greater gender inequality: CIMAD

Professional education and economic activity

Professional education and economic activity, dimensions with greater gender inequality: CIMAD

As a result of the pandemic, progress in gender equity that has been achieved may be compromised, not only in the educational aspect, but in gender-based violence. UN data indicate that as of April 2020, 243 million women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have been subjected to violence.

In this context, the Women’s Research Centre in the Senior Management of IPADE (CIMAD) shares an analysis of the dimensions with the greatest inequality and the actions that need to be strengthened to improve conditions and opportunities for women.

  • A higher education and equal working conditions are crucial to advancing women’s empowerment.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized progress on gender equity.

Mexico City, October 2, 2020. - In Mexico, COVID-19 could widen the gap and put at risk the progress achieved with regard to gender equity in education and employment, said Yvette Mucharraz y Cano, director of the Women’s Research Center in Senior Management (CIMAD) IPADE Business School, participating in the seminar "Economic participation of women", held by the Bar of Attorneys of Mexico

She explained that the low presence of women in higher secondary and higher education, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), as well as in the top management of organizations and the lack of equity in health remain challenges that to overcome them require transforming social and family paradigms to achieve the empowerment of women, which would bring substantial benefits to their welfare and the economic development of countries.

"Skilled women contribute substantially to thriving economies, they are more likely to lead healthy lives with greater well-being and better opportunities," she said.

The specialist described as alarming the fact that there are young people, mainly women, between 18 and 24 years of age, with a higher risk of not studying or working. "In 2017 alone, 36% of young women in Mexico lived in this situation compared to 8% of men of the same age," she warned.

She pointed out that although gender parity has been achieved in the enrolment of the various educational levels, from the upper secondary level, participation in education in rural communities decreases drastically (34.7%). However, where women are most unequal is in wages, as women with higher education earn only 66 per cent of the average income of men with the same level of education.

"Women who are now finishing their professional studies are not generating the same income as men. If there is a significant advance in access to education, however, we still see a lower employment rate and lower wages than men, "the directive said.

Yvette Mucharraz said that as a result of the pandemic, the progress that has been achieved can be compromised, not only in the educational aspect, but in gender-based violence, because according to data from the United Nations, As of April 2020, 243 million women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have been subjected to intimate partner violence in the past 12 months. In Mexico, according to the National System for the Protection of Children and Adolescents, SPINAA (September 2020), so far this year more than 10,000 children have been hospitalized for injuries, which reflects the violence that has been experienced in homes, accentuated during confinement.

"When we talk about health, we should also consider the mental health that contributes to social well-being, if we have these levels of domestic violence and low access to quality education with respect to these enhanced capabilities, the gap will be larger due to the current situation of the pandemic".

She remarked that, in order to improve the current situation of women, it is necessary to strengthen the agenda to increase the Gender Development Index mentioned by the United Nations Development Programme, which reflects the inequalities between men and women in three dimensions: 1. Health 2. Education and 3. Income.

"We have a pending agenda, both in the development of public policies that favor this equality and access to quality education, to a healthy and informed life that empowers women to achieve better opportunities," she said.

Regarding the domestic sphere, Mucharraz and Cano explained that unpaid care and domestic work carried out by women are fundamental to sustaining societies, they have immense economic value, since they are equivalent to 2.35% of world GDP, or 1.5 trillions of dollars, and must be supported by appropriate policies; However, during confinement, unpaid domestic work and care increased, since the number of hours that women dedicate globally is 4 hours, while in men it is 1.7 hours per day. In the case of Mexico, according to the OECD, women dedicate 5.52 hours per day to unpaid work, and men 2.19 hours.