New evidence of gender inequality during COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East and North Africa.

Abdel-Rahman S, Awwad FA, Qasim M, Abonazel MR

Heliyon 9 (7) e17705 [2023-07-00; online 2023-06-29]

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered employment and income distribution, impacting women and men differently. This study investigates the negative effects of COVID-19 on the labour market, focusing on the gender gap in five countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The study indicates whether women are more susceptible to losing their jobs, either temporarily or permanently, switching their primary occupation, and experiencing decreased working hours and income compared to men during the COVID-19 outbreak. The study utilizes a multivariate Probit model to estimate the relationship between gender and adverse labour outcomes controlling for correlations among outcomes. Data are obtained from the Combined COVID-19 MENA Monitor Household Survey, covering Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Sudan. The findings of this study offer empirical evidence of the gender gap in labour market outcomes during the pandemic. Women are more likely than men to experience negative work outcomes, such as permanent job loss and change in their main job. The increased childcare and housework responsibilities have significantly impacted women's labour market outcomes during the pandemic. However, the availability of telework has reduced the likelihood of job loss among women. The study's results contribute to a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on gender inequality in understudied MENA countries. Mitigation policies should focus on supporting vulnerable women who have experienced disproportionate negative effects of COVID-19.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37456038

DOI 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e17705

Crossref 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e17705

pmc: PMC10338972
pii: S2405-8440(23)04913-7

Publications 9.5.0