Cause for Concern: Gender Inequality in Experiencing the COVID-19 Lockdown in Germany
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Description: COVID-19 is having a tremendous impact on gender relations, as care needs have been magniﬁed due to schools and day-care closures. Using topic modeling on over 1,100 open reports from a survey ﬁelded during the ﬁrst four weeks of the lockdown in Germany, we shed light on how personal experiences of the lockdown diﬀer between women and men. Our results show that, in general, people were most concerned about social contacts and childcare. However, we ﬁnd clear diﬀerences among genders: women worried more about childcare while men were more concerned about paid work and the economy. We argue that the COVID-19 pandemic is aﬀecting women more heavily than men not only at the physical level of work (e.g. women are reducing more paid work hours than men), but also through increasing the division regarding the cognitive level of work (e.g. women are more worried about childcare work while men are about paid work). These developments can potentially contribute to a future widening of the gender wage gap during the recovery process.
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