Coronavirus: Why are Women Paying a Heavier Price?

Women have shown better COVID-19 outcomes than men – in part thanks to an additional X chromosome and sex hormones like oestrogen, which provoke better immune responses to the virus that causes COVID-19. But any such advantage is reversed when it comes to the social and economic effects of the pandemic; here the brunt falls heaviest on women.

What has disproportionately affected women is insecurity and loss of employment because women tend to work in informal sectors with no financial protection or benefits. Data gathered by UN Women shows that of all healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 in Spain and Italy, 72 percent and 66 percent respectively were women.

Last modified: September 14, 2020

Language: English