San Francisco– Stressing that women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic globally, Facebook on Tuesday said that female-led small and medium businesses (SMBs) were more likely than male-led SMBs to report that they were closed, even when taking into account factors like size of business, sector and geography.
Nearly 23 per cent of all female business leaders stated that they spent six hours or more per day on domestic responsibilities, compared to only 11 per cent of men, according to the fourth edition of Facebook’s ï¿½Global State of Small Business Report’.
“The pandemic has affected everyone — but it hasn’t affected everyone equally. Women are more likely to have extensive caring responsibilities, more likely to lose their jobs or have their pay cut, and more likely to feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook.
About 24 per cent of female business leaders, compared to 18 per cent of male business leaders, identified caring for household members as an area for further policy support, according to the survey of 25,000 SMBs across more than 50 countries.
“Huge gender gaps at home and in business — as well as in access to education, healthcare, technology and much else — have been a bitter truth for as long as anyone can remember, so it should come as no surprise that they should exist now,” Sandberg said in a statement.
The gender inequality was also observed at home.
Another Facebook report ï¿½Gender Equality at Home’, in collaboration with the World Bank Group, UN Women, independent research firm Ladysmith and civil society and private sector-led partnership ‘EqualMeasures2030’, surveyed more than 460,000 people on the platform in more than 200 countries and territories.
It found that more than 25 per cent of respondents in most regions reported having concerns about having enough food and basic supplies during Covid-19, including more than a third of women in the US and Canada.
“Women consistently reported earning less than men and being dependent on someone else financially. A quarter of women expressed concerns about the future of their jobs and that they spent more time on unpaid care and domestic work as a result of Covid-19,” Facebook said.
The majority of people agreed that women and men should have equal opportunities in education, employment and household decision-making.
In South Asia, 89 per cent of respondents agreed that men and women should have equal opportunities.
“About 68 per cent of survey respondents agreed that a woman’s most important role is to take care of her home and children, while 42 per cent agreed that household expenses are the responsibility of the man, even if his wife can help him,” the findings showed.
Women in South Asia were significantly more likely than men to report taking care of cooking, cleaning and household management. (IANS)