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Covid-19 affects women workers the most, says academic

Free Malaysia Today, Malaysia, 31 May 2021 - The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a pattern of businesses shifting from the formal sector to the informal, which will affect women workers the most, says a Universiti Malaya academic.

Researcher in Gender Studies, Shanthi Thambiah, said today the impact of the pandemic differs from that of typical economic recessions in that it affects sectors with high female employment the most.

During an online discussion by Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS) and EMPOWER Malaysia, Shanthi said the rise in unemployment was directly related to a review of business strategies that companies employed during the pandemic.

For instance, she said, companies may undergo cost-cutting strategies such as shorter working hours and reduced staff capacity.

However, she noted that they may also shift many of their activities to the informal sector as a cost-cutting measure.

Shanthi said doing so would lead to a spike in the number of women entering the informal sector, as they have no other choice. This would put them at greater risk of economic disadvantages.



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