48.49pc families lose job during pandemic

Staff Correspondent

25 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

At least one member of 48.49 percent urban and rural families lost job or has been deprived of the job in 2020 corona pandemic in the country,

The job loss has pushed 92.5 percent of rural population and 73.3 percent urban population into financial hardship, finds a new study. 

The findings came from the ‘Rapid Analysis of Care Work during Covid Pandemic in Bangladesh’ survey.

Some 76 percent respondent of the survey said their families’ income has dropped. And 68 percent people with Tk 5,000 to Tk 10,000 monthly income have said their families lost income during the pandemic, which is indicative of rise in poverty, it said.

73 percent people with Tk 10,000 to tk 15,000 monthly income have lost their income.

The condition of the families dependent on agriculture was found to be better compared to those dependent on labour or non-farm activities.

77.78 percent women headed families have slipped into financial hardship, mainly from informal economic sectors, according to the survey.

Many women have lost job during the pandemic and at the same they have been more burdened with domestic work.

91.3 percent population is engaged in informal sector of which 96.7 percent are women. 

As a reason behind this, the study said women lose their wealth first during such a crisis moment as they are compelled to sell off their ornaments or small wealth.

Although work like cooking and washing are apparently thought to be linked to rural women, the pandemic increased work load of urban women by 128 percent.

85 percent of the working women were engaged in domestic unpaid work for more than four hours.

Before the pandemic, 71.5 percent housewives used to be engaged with unpaid domestic work for three to five hours.

Working time for 37.8 percent of these women has increased after the pandemic although work load of male members has also increased.

Associate Professor at Economics Department of Jahangirnagar University Sharmind Neelormi conducted the survey with the initiative of a five-member forum called ‘Formal Recognition of the Women’s Unaccounted Work.

Action Aid Bangladesh, Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangstha, Centre for Policy Dialigue, Oxfam and Majusher Jonno Foundation are the members of the forum.

The survey was conducted during November 2020 to January 2021 period in nine districts among people of different occupations and ages with 87 percent women respondents.

It showed that 34.4 percent urban mothers helped their children in online classes amid corona, whle 7.3 percent fathers in rural areas helped their children in online TV classes.

28 percent urban women respondents have said they had no relation with their children’s study. More alarmingly, rural parents and students had no relations with educational activities during the pandemic while SDG-4 is fully focused on education.

82.78 percent respondent said corona has had negative impacts on their mental health. The economic crisis created by corona has created the mental stress and has weakened people physically.

A major finding of the survey is that 54.25 percent rural people received government and non-government corona support, while the rate is 22.97 percent among urban population. Speaking on the occasion, Lawmaker Saber Hossain Chowdhury said the unpaid work of women should be included in the national data base.

Shoko Ishikawa, Country Representative, UN Women Bangladesh, and Manusher Jonno Foundation Chief Shahin Anam also talked about recognising the women’s care work in the mainstream economy.